Mother and Child is an unconventional family drama that centers on the subject of adoption. It shows the effects of giving away a child as well as the highs and lows of bringing one into your life. The film was written and directed by Rodrigo Garcia with a cast led by the amazingly talented Annette Bening. Without being too preachy or sentimental the film examines what really makes a family. Is it blood ties or emotional relationships?

The Players:

  • Director: Rodrigo Garcia
  • Writer: Rodrigo Garcia
  • Cast: Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington, Cherry Jones, Jimmy Smits, Eileen Ryan, David Ramsey
  • Cinematographer: Xavier Pérez Grobet
  • Original Music: Ed Shearmur

The Plot:

Mother and Child follows the story of 3 women all touched by adoption. Karen (Bening) is a middle age physical therapist still suffering 37 years after giving up her daughter at the age of 14. Elizabeth is a successful attorney who’s ambitious and independent but gets sidetracked by an unexpected pregnancy, while Lucy (Washington) is a young married woman who’s unable to conceive.

The Good:

  • Annette Bening: Karen is such a complex character and Bening is the perfect actress to bring her to life. She has to go from hot to cold so many times during the film and that emotional roller-coaster is made believable because of her performance. She’s amazing to watch.
  • Screenplay: The way Garcia structured the screenplay was genius. Similar Crash, all the characters are connected in one way or another but they don’t collide until a major event at the end. The story was very specific and well planned.
  • Naomi Watts: As Elizabeth, Watts brought a secure confidence to the role that a lot of other actresses couldn’t pull off. She was very feminine but exuded masculinity because the character is all about control. She had to go from this domineering figure to a vulnerable mother to be in the matter of an hour.

The Bad:

  • The Pacing: Even though the story was great and the performances were strong, there were certain moments in the film where it lagged. The pace was a bit slow in some areas making the movie seem a lot longer than it was. You could feel the length and at times it took you out of the film.


Mother and Child is a smaller movie but it’s filled with huge performances. The story is endearing, the actors are extremely talented, and you can tell that everyone involved gave 110%. It’s definitely worth your time and after seeing it you will have a different appreciation for not only adoption but family in general.

Rating: 9/10

Mother and Child opens in limited release on May 7, 2010.



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Are you interested in seeing Mother and Child this weekend?