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Surrogate sentiment

OUT NOW! The tender emotion in MOTHER AND CHILD feels kind of cheap.

Barcha’s film features three women, all of whose lives have been severely affected by adoption: Karen (Bening), who gave away her newborn daughter when she was a teenager herself and has been haunted by that decision ever since, Elizabeth (Watts), an emotionally dysfunctional adopted child who has always struggled to form interpersonal relationships, and Lucy (Washington) who is pursuing the path of adoption in order to make her long-held dream of motherhood come true. It’s evident how much the topic of the film meant to the very committed ensemble cast. Then again, after a while you get sick of the soft background music and tender colors, the whispered lamenting and the ongoing crises. Sometimes, the film’s heartstring-playing pathos confuses sentiment with sentimentality.

MOTHER AND CHILD | Directed by Rodrigo García Barcha (USA 2009) with Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson. Opens April 28