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Tuesday Night Weepfest June 24, 2009

Posted by Alichat in Life, Movies.
Tags: , , , ,

Tuesday, Mere and I saw a sneak preview of the new film  My Sister’s Keeper, directed by Nick Cassavetes and based upon the Jodi Picoult novel of the same name.  First, let me say that I usually like to read the book the movie is based upon before I see it.  With that said, upon Googling to clarify something from the movie, I’ve discovered that it’s a good thing that I did not read the novel first.  For those who have read the book, let me forewarn you that the movie veers greatly in some places.  The ending is completely different, and after reading this, I have to admit that I’m glad the movie is different.  Having the movie end as the novel does would have just made me angry.  There are also family issues which have been removed or glossed over.  Having said this, I liked this movie.  I knew it would be a weepfest, so I was prepared for the pulling of the heartstrings.  The story is about the Fitzgerald family, who for years have been wrapped up with the fight to save their second child, Kate.  She suffers from a rare form of leukemia, diagnosed at the age of 2.  Kate has been kept alive by chemotherapy and the many donations from her genetically manufactured younger sister Anna.  Anna was born to be a genetic match for Kate.  She is now in renal failure, and 11 year old Anna sues her parents for the right to make her own decisions about her body.  She does not want to be forced into donating a kidney.  Now, there is more to the story, so I have only told you what has been revealed in the promos.  (Many of you know my dislike of those that give the whole plot away before you see the movie.)

The movie, told in flashbacks from various points of view, pulls you in immediately with the opening narrative from Abigail Breslin as Anna.  Breslin is one of the actors getting top billing on this film, and she does a fabulous job as the put upon Anna (we’d expect nothing less from the Academy Award nominee.)  Cameron Diaz, who gets top billing above Breslin, is fierce, angry, and powerful as Sara, the mother who gave up her job as a lawyer to do anything and everything possible to keep Kate alive.  Sadly at times, it’s at the expense of her other two children and ever supportive husband, portrayed by Jason Patric.   Patric is one of a stellar cast that includes Alec Baldwin, Joan Cusack, Evan Ellingson, and a small performance by Emily Deschanel.   But the two performances that standout to me were from Sofia Vassilieva and Thomas Dekkar.  Vassilieva, whom you most likely know as Ariel DuBois from the tv series Medium, is wonderful as Kate.  Bald and browless through most of the movie, she takes us through Kate’s joys and pains, from the giddiness of first love to the pain of chemotherapy, with strength, grace, and dignity.  She’s definitely one to watch in the future.  And Thomas Dekker, whom I am a fan of from his role on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, had a small but significant role as Kate’s boyfriend Taylor.  I told Mere that in one short moment, he reminded me of why I couldn’t be a dramatic actress.  After being told by Kate that she isn’t in remission anymore, a range of emotions fly across his face as tears well.  It was impressive to watch and heartbreaking to experience. 

The film follows an expected path that is slightly predictable, however, I would take this statement with a grain of salt.  I’m overly realistic and rather pessimistic at times, so outcomes appear to me before most viewers.  Still, I would recommend this movie to everyone, for two reasons.  One, because it’s an emotional film that makes you cry, and everyone deserves a good cry now and then.  And Two, because it’s a  beautiful film that leaves you walking out of the theatre, phone in hand, dialing family members to tell them you love them.  And that can’t be bad right?



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