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My Sister's Keeper [Blu-ray]
My Sister's Keeper
Actors: Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin, Alec Baldwin, Jason Patric, Sofia Vassilieva
Director: Nick Cassavetes
PG-13     2009     1hr 49min

Studio: New Line Home Video Release Date: 11/17/2009 Run time: 110 minutes Rating: Pg13


Movie Details

Actors: Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin, Alec Baldwin, Jason Patric, Sofia Vassilieva
Director: Nick Cassavetes
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: Blu-ray - Color - Dubbed
DVD Release Date: 11/17/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 06/26/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 49min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Subtitles: English, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Bring along some tissues
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 07/19/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"My Sister's Keeper really hit home for me as an adult child from a family in which someone had serious ongoing health problems, a former social worker and as a cancer survivor who beat an advanced form of the disease against some mighty big odds. The casting was very well done; the cinematography and the choreography enhance the quality of the picture. The acting was very convincing, too. The plot moves along at a good pace for the first half-hour or so but after that things do slow down; they could have cut a few minutes once or twice to truly make this a taut drama. That is a disappointment.

When the action starts, we meet the members of the Fitzgerald family who endure endless emotional angst and suffering because tragically one of the Fitzgerald children, Kate (Sofia Vassilieva) is very ill with cancer--yet again. Now that Kate's kidneys have failed her; Kate's life is in immediate jeopardy. We also meet Kate's sister Anna (Abigail Breslin) who was a tube baby created for the purpose of contributing one thing or another from her own body to save Kate's life repeatedly throughout the years. Cameron Diaz plays Sara Fitzgerald, a mother who bravely scraps her lucrative career as a lawyer to take care of her daughter Kate at any cost and there's Kate's father Brian (Jason Patric).

Although Anna has given blood, bone marrow and more in the past to keep her sister Kate alive, all of a sudden Anna throws the family into complete turmoil when she hires crackerjack lawyer Campbell Alexander (Alec Baldwin) to win medical emancipation from her parents. Sara and Brian are stunned, to say the least; Sara is furious with Anna, too. The ensuing court scenes with Judge De Salvo (Joan Cusack) are quite memorable.

But if the scenes with Judge De Salvo in the courtroom are memorable, the depiction we get of Kate's cancer is absolutely remarkable and generally rather accurate. As a cancer survivor myself, I saw some mild exaggeration of what a cancer patient goes through on chemotherapy (believe me, if the patient is throwing up THAT much, the doctor would at least try to switch chemo drugs); and although I was on Rituxan I have never heard of "Rituxan on the breath." However, the rest of Kate's cancer and its treatments are rather accurate. We do see what poor Kate has to endure and it can be just awful; although we do see Kate have a sweet, moving relationship with Taylor (Thomas Dekker), another young leukemia patient.

Of course, from here the plot can go anywhere. What will Anna eventually decide to do--will she drop her legal case for medical emancipation from her parents and give Kate the kidney she needs to live; or will Anna not want to risk the very real lifelong complications from a kidney surgery and stand firm, refusing to give up one of her kidneys? What about Sara and Brian Fitzgerald--how will they cope with Anna who wants to thwart them, her own parents, to go against their wishes and not help her sister Kate stay alive? What happens in the courtroom--what will Judge De Salvo ultimately decide? Is there any other reason why Anna won't give her kidney to Kate? No plot spoilers here, folks--watch the movie and find out!

My Sister's Keeper is not a bad movie at all; it pushed my buttons as a former social worker, a cancer survivor and an adult child of a family with a lot of health problems to handle. The movie is definitely a tearjerker; and it will stay in your mind for quite some while after you see it. The acting is wonderful as well. Admittedly, it could have been edited a little more to make it tighter after the first half-hour; and that's something of a disappointment. After all is said and done, however, I do recommend this film; it's a sensitive portrait of a family in crisis that has meaning and that's a big plus."
I Was Born to Be a Donor
Chris Pandolfi | Los Angeles, CA | 07/23/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I came in expecting a sappy melodrama and came out clutching a tear-stained movie theater napkin. "My Sister's Keeper" is a beautiful, heartfelt story that's ambitious enough to be about more than a teenager sick with cancer; it presents us with a series of moral issues that have no easy solutions. We do expect to laugh and cry (mostly the latter), but we don't expect to think--at least, not as deeply as this. Of all the issues presented in this film, the main one is an eleven-year-old girl who was engineered rather than conceived. She's a perfect genetic match to her older sister, who suffers from a rare form of leukemia and often needs spare quantities of blood, marrow, and organs to keep her alive. The younger sister believes she has rights to her own body and subsequently sues her parents. In legal terms, she files a suit to be medically emancipated.

Her name is Anna Fitzgerald (Abigail Breslin), who by all accounts would be a normal girl were it not for the fact that her sister, Kate (Sophia Vassilieva), is slipping further and further away. Their mother, Sara (Cameron Diaz), handles the situation as best she can, having given up her career as a lawyer to spend all her time at home. Naturally, she only thinks about keeping her daughter alive, which is why she has no qualms about using her other daughter's body for spare parts. She feels, quite understandably, that subjecting Anna to medical procedures isn't as hard as the thought of burying Kate. But in all those years, did she ever ask Anna how she feels about her role? Does the fact that she's a minor mean she doesn't have a say in this? Hoping to convince her parents that she does, she appeals to Campbell Alexander (Alec Baldwin), a defense attorney with a 91% success rate. He takes her case for reasons that aren't immediately obvious.

How does the rest of the family deal with this? How does anyone deal with the realities of a terminal illness in the family? Sara's husband, a firefighter named Brian (Jason Patric), is beginning to question the idea of conceiving a child for medical purposes. "We went against nature," he solemnly muses during one of the film's many moments of interior dialogue (the entire family given the chance to speak at least once). But there's more to it than that; it's gotten to the point where he no longer wants to drag Anna kicking and screaming to a hospital and hold her down while the nurses sedate her. After all, there's only so much of that a father can take.

The middle child, their son Jesse (Evan Ellingson), is all but ignored, and while he never rebels, his solitary existence at dark bus stops make it obvious he's seriously considering it. And why not? It would be a sure fire attention getter. Goodness knows it took his parents long enough to realize that there was an explanation for his academic problems.

And what about Kate? It seems that whenever we focus on someone's illness, we tend to forget that there's still a person underneath it all. Sara is so driven to save Kate's life that she never pauses to consider how Kate really feels about herself or her condition. This is understandable; as a mother, Sara doesn't want to go through the pain of burying a child. But at what point is it clear that there's nothing left to hold onto? Is there ever a time when it's better to let someone go, knowing it was only a matter of delaying the inevitable? "I don't mind the cancer killing me," Kate says, "but it's killing my family." Then again, there is the part of her that wanted nothing more than to live the life of a normal teenager. She should be able to go shopping, hang out with friends, and date. Flashback sequences show her falling in love with another cancer patient, Taylor Ambrose (Thomas Dekker), who does whatever he can to make Kate feel better.

I'm usually wary of movies like this, and that's because they're inherently manipulative. What makes "My Sister's Keeper" far better than the average tearjerker is that it doesn't exactly manipulate; rather, it suggests, and it does so at a subtler, more believable level. I suppose it's natural to question certain scenes after the fact, but when you're right in the middle of it, you let it happen. It's hard not to given the maturity of the story, the intensity of the performances, and the believability of the dialogue. By the end of the film, I guarantee you there will not be a dry eye in the house.

Fortunately, this is a film that earns its heavy-handedness. We're not being forced to watch a shameless melodrama--we're being asked to engage in an ethical dilemma and determine for ourselves what was done right and what wasn't. Is it right to conceive a child for donor purposes? Is it right for a healthy individual to deny a sick individual access to necessary organs? Is there a point at which modern medicine can go too far? What I think and feel really doesn't matter. It only matters what you think and feel. "My Sister's Keeper" is powerful, intelligent, and incredibly moving, as I should have known it would be."
Wow! Mind bogling
buen chapin | guatemala | 09/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Strange film, and at the same time, astonishing! I haven't read the book, but the movie is great. Definitely, not for everyone. This is one of those movies that make you think and reflect on issues of live an death. If you want a movie just for the sake of watching a movie, look elsewhere. There's No violence, no sex, no drugs, no killing sprees,no shootings, no terrorists, no bombs going off, no gore, no torn-out limbs, no cars crashing, etc, etc, etc. If this is what you are looking for, there's plenty of movies to choose from. This one is only for mature thinking people who comprehend psychological plots, end-of-live topics and the implications (and dangers) of screwing around with genes for "medical or therapeutical" purposes. It can be considered as a masterpiece on the bio-ethical implications of gene manipulation, and messing around with the natural order! If this is your kind of movie, I recommend also: "Mar Adentro", "Tuesdays with Morrie", "Wit" (although a tad boring), and "Godsend" I also recommend reading a book called "The private world of dying children" from Myra Bluebond-Langer. An excellent insight to how children percieve the end of their lives and all that goes around them from a bio-psycho-social and spiritual point of view.
If you are a health care worker and especially working with kids with life threatening illnesses, this movie is a Must See. It is a well worth investment."
My Sister's Keeper Review from The Massie Twins
thejoelmeister | | 06/26/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"My Sister's Keeper surrounds itself in the situations and lives of a family so depressingly wounded, though not exactly dysfunctional as Abigail Breslin's Anna would have you believe, that it's often difficult to relate or sympathize. The overly emotional exchanges and tearful drama appear so frequently that anticipating the next bout of sobbing becomes a game much like the jumpy scares of a horror film. Though the acting never falters, several direction choices such as constantly changing narrators and ill-suited musical accompaniments detract from the overall effect of this mostly-poignant weepfest. Misery may love company, but when you're in the company of this much misery, it's difficult to maintain an appropriate connection.

Since her birth, Anna Fitzgerald (Abigail Breslin) has undergone constant sacrifices to help keep her sister Kate (Sofia Vassilieva) alive. From blood to bone marrow, she has given whatever is needed to fend off the impending tragedy of her sister's leukemia. But upon the necessity of a kidney transplant, Anna decides she has had enough and hires famously outspoken lawyer Campbell Alexander (Alec Baldwin) to win medical emancipation from her domineering mother (Cameron Diaz). But as this new confrontation collides with Kate's steadily declining condition, the Fitzgeralds must come together as a family before a guarded secret destroys them completely.

Under the foundation of happy family life reside many cracks, resentments, depression and dysfunction; especially when a deadly disease threatens to disrupt all sense of normalcy and happiness. But we got that from the first ten minutes of the film. So the next couple hours involving one saddening moment trumped by another heartbreaking episode grows tiresome very quickly. A unique premise may lurk amongst the tear-jerking scenes, but it just isn't much fun to watch. Important themes and thought-provoking subject matter can't prevent My Sister's Keeper from being little more than weeping, bleeding and music video montages.

It's a realistic and heavy-hitting drama with several outstanding performances. Abigail Breslin is, as usual, awfully mature for her age, Alec Baldwin brings a charming sense of ethics to the table as a charismatic lawyer, and Joan Cusack provides an understandably biased source of justice. It's undoubtedly tough to deal with cancer, not just for the sick but for their family; as demonstrated in the film, the parental attention is unfairly split up between the children. It's quite an emotional event, but with such a looming preoccupation with death and children coming to terms with mortality, the entertainment value is just as bleak as the plot. Even the lighter scenes are tinged with a depressing melancholy as if foreshadowing the next tearful segment. Just when it couldn't get any sadder, it does.

- The Massie Twins"