It’s only fitting that with this year’s Sundance Film Festival going on in Park City, Utah, I watched one of last year’s Sundance favorites on TV tonight via On Demand. The film was “Mother and Child” starring Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson and Jimmy Smits. I’d been hearing about it since it was released in theaters last spring, but it came and went so fast I never got the chance to see it the first time around. Here’s the trailer.
Set in Los Angeles, the film features three stories, each depicting a mother-and-child relationship that’s fraught with drama. The three women are: a 50-year-old woman (Bening); the daughter she gave up for adoption 35 years ago (Watts); and an African-American woman looking to adopt a child of her own (Washington). Writer/director Rodrigo Garcia demonstrates an uncanny understanding of women and their conflicted feelings about motherhood. He also has a beautiful, gentle touch with his actors. Annette Bening may very well win the Oscar for “The Kids Are All Right,” but she was equally skilled in this film, which is poignant and touching without being sentimental. Highly recommended.