"Do you always tell the truth?"The relationship between a mother and her child is a complex one, to say the least. It can be really lovely, or it can be strained, estranged or, in some cases, stringent. In Mother and Child, it's a beautiful conglomerate of each explored in three compelling vignettes.
--"The truth is easier to remember."
Golden Globe nominee Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right) is Karen, a woman emotionally crippled by both the guilt she feels from giving her child up for adoption when she was only fourteen and the love her mother never showed her. Her biological daughter Elizabeth (played by Naomi Watts), now 37, has spent most her life escaping love until she winds up in a position that offers her no way out. Then there's Lucy (Kerry Washington), whose unwavering passion for becoming a mother will rip your heart out with each failed attempt. These heartbreaking stories are carefully intertwined to bring us a charming look at motherhood in four various colors: frustration, rage, love and, eventually, hope.
Washington, in a career-best performance, is breathtaking as Lucy. Her yearning is so palpable you're forced to root for her until the very end. Bening has clearly found her niche playing a painfully bitter woman you want to dislike but feel too sorry for her to do so. Watts will surprise you in her emotionally-devoid performance that gives way to a softer, sweeter ending that brings the entire story full circle. Mother and Child isn't a hard-hitting drama, but rather a precious, soulful look at family, love, and loss.
Reel Talk rating: A