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Losing Isaiah
Losing Isaiah
Actors: Jessica Lange, Halle Berry, David Strathairn, Cuba Gooding Jr., Daisy Eagan
Director: Stephen Gyllenhaal
Genres: Drama
R     2003     1hr 51min

Losing Isaiah (View amazon detail page) ASIN: B0000A2ZNM Binding: DVD


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Movie Details

Actors: Jessica Lange, Halle Berry, David Strathairn, Cuba Gooding Jr., Daisy Eagan
Director: Stephen Gyllenhaal
Creators: Andrzej Bartkowiak, Hawk Koch, Kimberly Brent, Naomi Foner, Sharon Owyang, Seth Margolis
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Family Life
Studio: Paramount
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/09/2003
Original Release Date: 03/17/1995
Theatrical Release Date: 03/17/1995
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 51min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
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Movie Reviews

Bonita L. Davis | 09/11/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Isaiah is known as one of the greatest prophets of Israel. Such is the case with this little African- American boy who was abandoned in the trash by his crack crazed mother. Three years later his mother, now clean, decides to reclaim her child. All of this sounds easy but little Isaiah has been adopted by a white social worker and her family and she is determined to keep him at all costs. The drama which unfolds before us is heart breaking as we attempt to decide what is in the best interest of this child. Halle Berry, Jessica Lange And Samuel Jackson give outstanding performances in enacting the rivalry and possessive claims that both women have on this young toddler. Poverty versus Affluence, the feasibility of inter-racial adoptions, marital/parental stability (and responsibility) and the do gooder mentality are themes that run their course throughout the drama. All of these elements are dealt with in the drama and pulls the viewer from one woman's claim to the other. Who is right? Does pigmentation or culture matter? Above all, what has love got to do with it? Social workers and judges in juvenile courts across the country are daily making these decisions of terminating parental rights and placing children in what they see as stable homes. Losing Isaiah is not a fantasy but a present reality. How to resolve these issues of custody is the dilemma for all involved. There are not any easy answers and unfortunately this film ends with an "easy" answer which isn't realistic. The little Isaiah in the film, like his prophet namesake calls these adults to spiritual, moral and social accountability. His impact makes Margaret (the social worker) deal with what is going on in her marriage and family. Khaila, his mother, is forced to clean up her act and become a responsible parent who shows her compassion and love for all children. Both women lost Isaiah but both have come to grips with their own sense of self-esteem and awareness in their loss."
What's best for Isaiah?
Charles E. Williams III | Knoxville, TN USA | 09/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Perhaps the biggest complaint I have with custody battles is that they are ultimately based around the selfishness of the adults involved, whether it be a battle between the child's mother and father, or between the biological parent(s) and the foster parent(s). "Losing Isaiah" is an example of a movie that uses this sad truth to tell a compelling story.

Normally, I'd be quick to write off someone like Halle Berry's character (a former crack addict who abandoned her baby in an alley) as someone unfit to raise this child. I'd also be uneasy about tearing Isaiah away from the only home he's ever known. Thankfully, this film does not end there.

After the courtroom decision is rendered, we see a much different Isaiah than the playful, cheerful child we first encountered. Did anyone bother to stop and ask him what he wanted? In an ideal world, someone would have. Unfortunately, we don't live in an ideal world, but at least we have people who (albeit a little slowly) realize this mistake in "Losing Isaiah." Were I to be given the assignment of filming a movie based around a custody battle, this is the kind of movie I would make."
Halle's best performance. She deserved an Oscar for this.
SHAWN JAMES | Bronx, NY | 09/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Losing Isaiah is Halle Berry's best movie. I wish she had gotten the Oscar for this film because She gives a breakthrough performance here as a black drug addict who abandons her baby and struggles to get him back from the white mother (Jessica Lange) who adopted him. Other Noteworthy performances here are Samuel L. Jackson and Cuba Gooding Jr. The film is great, not playing race as an issue, but showing us people as human beings letting the events play and showing us the outcome. I highly recommend this film."
Good story plot ;good acting by "et al"
SHAWN JAMES | 12/04/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"12/04/03 The movie ends with one line on the screen Isaiah 11:6 "and a little child shall lead them"...Supense is there from the moment that the child's biological mother*(played by actress Halle Berry*)) puts him in a cardboard box behind the "beastly room she has herself & he living in"; to him being rescued from the inside of a Muncipal Trash Truck " in the nick of time;to the ER representing itself as the life saving force of hospitals once more, in rescusitating him; with a woman* (of another race and her family adopting him)played by actress Jessica Lange*) saving him from an early life of "foster homes" ,his biological mother raising from her demons,pits and dens of self destruction",the courts ruling in favor of the biological mother (so he can be raised in the culture which is the reality that he must be groomed to realize)to an ending of the adoptee's mother and the biological mother going beyond "self" to be a team in helping him reach the age of reason and beyond as a sensible human."