Mother and Child
Here’s a film that certainly stands apart from the rest of the big summer blockbuster movies. Naomi Watts and Annette Bening deliver two amazing performances in writer-director Rodrigo García’s brutally honest, funny, touching, heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting film. Bening plays an emotionally distant woman who had to give up her daughter for adoption when she was a 14-year-old mother, and Watts plays that daughter at 37. They don’t know each other, and one of the film’s great questions is “Will they ever meet?” García includes many other characters and subplots in the film, including Kerry Washington, phenomenal as a woman waiting to adopt a child, and Jimmy Smits, who does incredible things with his few scenes, as the man who manages to finally make the Bening character crack a smile. Bening and Watts offer up incredible variations on people who have been missing something their entire lives, and cope with this in completely different ways. They are both deserving of any type of best acting award you can bestow upon somebody. Throw in a great performance from Samuel L. Jackson as Watts’ boss, and you have one of the year’s better ensemble films.