Featuring stand-out performances from a superb cast lead by naomi watts (21 grams, the international) and annette bening (the kids are all right, american beauty), mother and child is a striking drama centred around three women whose paths will cross and change them forever. Karen (bening) a 50-year old nurse, who was forced to give up her daughter elizabeth (watts) for adoption 35 years ago and constantly questions her own choices and how they may have affected the daughter she has never known. Elizabeth, in turn, has grown into a single-minded career woman, albeit a successful lawyer and despite never knowing her mother, shares more of her traits than she realises. Finally, lucy (kerry washington: The last king of scotland, ray) is a young woman desperate to adopt a child of her own. In this exploration of one of nature's most basic instincts, each woman? S pasts intertwine, inform, and evolve to reveal their innermost desires. Director rodrigo garcia (nive lives, six feet under, big love) once again reveals himself as a master storyteller with an uncanny understanding of the psyche of his unique characters. With strong directorial vision, he dares us to go to uncharted territory in a way that is both effortless and beautiful. The nuanced performances by this stellar cast? Watts, bening and washington are wonderfully supported by samuel l jackson (pulp fiction) and jimmy smits (the west wing, dexter) - let you into the affecting existence of these women. Moving and profound, mother and child exposes the complex layers of life's challenges while remaining poetic and ethereal, yet always very real. This is a powerful film about forgiveness, the choices we make, the chances we miss and the power of the unbreakable bond between a mother and child.
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