Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|My Sister's Keeper |
Actors: Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin, Alec Baldwin, Jason Patric, Sofia Vassilieva
Director: Nick Cassavetes
Studio: New Line Home Video Release Date: 11/17/2009 Run time: 110 minutes Rating: Pg13
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Its good intentions get in its own way...
Andrew Ellington | I'm kind of everywhere | 09/22/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Get out your box of tissue is right; this movie is designed to make you drain your eye sockets. It's almost hart for me to critique this movie, because it has so much going for and against it that it's hard to pinpoint whether this was a great movie or a terrible one. In the end, I have to settle with `very well intentioned', and that feels about right.
The film tells the story of the Fitzgerald family. Sara and Brian had two beautiful children, Jesse and Kate, before they realized that their eldest child was dying of leukemia. In an attempt to secure her future (or at least a chunk of it), the Fitzgerald's decided to have another child, Anna, who was genetically engineered to be Kate's equal, serving as a donor baby since she was born. This involved countless surgeries and hospital stays, endangering her life to sustain the life of her sister. Right before Kate is set to have a very vital kidney transplant, Anna decides that she doesn't want to do it anymore. She seeks out the help of a lawyer and proceeds to sue her parents for medical emancipation. This throws a gigantic wrench in their family dynamic. Her mother, Sara, is beyond furious.
Anna has basically just murdered her sister.
The essential plot here is fantastic. This is such a morally complex tale that it leaves the audience on pins and needles throughout the entirety of the film.
That said, there are some issues that I have here that are very standout to me.
First, everything about this film seems almost too manufactured. Each scene or character seems to set up with another scene or character in order to garner a bigger response from the audience. It becomes frustrating because the film starts to lose its realistic and raw appeal. It feels forced and thus begins to feel fake. You sit back and think to yourself `oh, this is the point where they want me to cry' instead of just naturally letting go. I also have an issue with some of the acting, namely Alec Baldwin (who should only do comedy from here on out), Joan Cusack (who almost gets it but suffers due to an overly manipulated character) and Abigail Breslin (who seems to be given far too many projects based on the sole fact that she got nominated for an Oscar for screaming and jumping up and down). Breslin especially is a sore spot for me because she really carries the film and she comes across so forced and unsympathetic. Her outbursts and especially her tears feel put-on. I'm interested in reading the book because I felt that the character of Jesse really needed to be fleshed out more. During part of the narration (which is also a tad overdone) Anna mentions that Jesse got his act together. The film really doesn't make it clear what was wrong with him. He just seemed depressed.
And still, there is a lot to love here. Cameron Diaz and the luminous Sofia Vassilieva are marvelous here. The connection that one feels to the film is also a major plus. This is a story that is bound to wreck havoc in the hearts of many, and rightfully so. There are no bounds to what a parent will do for a child, but there are times when we try so hard we fail to open our ears to what is really important to that child. A parent always feels as though they know best, but do they really? I felt that the bond between Sofia and Cameron was beautiful and represented the true heart of this story. Nothing about that relationship felt forced. While certain aspects of the storyline seemed overdone and manipulated (okay, most every sub-plot was yet another setup to heartbreak), some of them really worked, especially the one concerning Kate's boyfriend.
I don't think that `My Sister's Keeper' manages to be the morality play it tries to be, but it really tries and so I give it credit for that. If Nick Cassavetes has practiced a little more restraint in his storytelling decisions (less is more) then this film would have felt a little more intimate and profound. Some of his visual techniques were well used (the way that scenes became flushed with light, providing a dream like feeling) while others (the choppy flashbacks that took you out of the `now' for far too long) didn't quite do the trick.
Still, there is a very poignant story hidden within this film, and there are enough reasons to see this film at least once."