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Bits and bobs about my life in my lovely home, Thatchwick Cottage, Pretoria, South Africa.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Thursday, 13 May 2010: Mother and Child

‘Mother and child’ should perhaps have been titled ‘Mother and daughter’. The movie newly released in my part of suburbia to coincide with Mother’s Day focuses on mother and daughter relationships within the context of adoption. The structure of the movie is ambitious – three complex stories which play out over more two years in the lives of three main characters. Annette Bennnng gives a professional performance as the middle-aged woman haunted by her experience of having given up her baby daughter for adoption when she was only fourteen. But her transformation from bitter, emotionally isolated and dowdy to nice, attractive and happily married in the space of a year was a little unconvincing. Naomi Watts portrays the daughter, thirty seven years later, as a gorgeous, promiscuous and emotionally stunted woman who also undergoes a transformation to pregnant and vulnerable. Like a Shakespearean tragic heroine, she dies, conveniently in my view, to allow the director to tie up the loose ends of her and her mother’s stories without the angst of a reunion between two troubled women. The third story is predictable so I leave that without comment except to say that it flows into the events of the other two tales. Personally I prefer the quirky realism of Pedro Almodovar’s Mother’s Day movie – All about my mother (1999). But that must wait for another blog.

Mother and child’ is a thoroughly women’s movie, not recommended by me for husbands or young children. Was it altogether too melodramatic, too contrived? I doubt it. Every adoption story I have heard from close friends and family with firsthand experience have all been stranger than fiction.

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