Mother and Child movie review: Almost forty years ago, a young girl of fourteen has sex, gets pregnant, and gives her baby up for adoption. Fast-forwarding to the present day, we meet three very different women, each of whom struggles to maintain control of their lives. There's Elizabeth, a smart and successful lawyer who uses her body to her advantage. Any time she feels that she doesn't have the upper hand, and cannot control the situation, she uses her sex appeal - whether that be starting a romance with her boss when she suspects he is trying to start one himself, or finding some way to control her overly friendly neighbor and husband. Karen, meanwhile, is a bitter health care professional who obviously has a lot of heart but never shows it. She gave up a daughter at the age of fourteen (wonderfully shown rather than told, she is the young girl and mother of Elizabeth), and has never gotten over it - her bitterness inspiring her to lash out at everyone around her.
The buzz: Writer-director Rodrigo García has been down this road of overlapping stories before (“Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her,” “Nine Lives”), while executive producer Alejandro González Iñárritu has shown us the strengths (“Amores Perros,” “21 Grams”) and weaknesses (“Babel”) of a filmmaker playing god with his characters in stories that rely heavily on fate and coincidence.
The verdict: If you’re sick of “Crash”-style movies where separate storylines eventually fit together with the precision of puzzle pieces, “Mother and Child” may not do much to change your mind. But the tremendous cast is reason enough to give it a chance. Bening, Watts and Washington are at their very best as damaged women whose dramatic strength comes from messy, often unlikable, behavior. Their performances are complex pleasures—reminders of the way great actresses can locate the heart and soul in any character between big acting moments. Equally strong supporting players—Samuel L. Jackson as Watts’ lonely boss, Jimmy Smits as a colleague attempting to melt Bening’s cool exterior, and Cherry Jones, Shareeka Epps and S. Epatha Merkerson as the strong women in Washington’s life—unite to keep the emotionally charged material from slipping away into an overwrought mess. Instead, “Mother and Child” asserts itself as powerful melodrama marked by compassion as boundless as a mother’s love. Source: Metromix