Anna (Abigail Breslin) is a young girl who is only alive because her older sister, Sara (Sofia Vassilieva), was diagnosed with leukemia. She was born out of a test tube for parts so that her sister could live. Now at the age of 11 she’s had enough and wants control of her own body. So she goes to lawyer Campbell Alexander (Alec Baldwin) to sue her parents (Cameron Diaz and Jason Patric) for the right to not have to give up her kidney.
This is actually a hard film to critique. On one hand it’s a really hard film to watch dealing with very difficult issues. Watching a child die from leukemia is very unpleasant. Having had my grandfather die that way brought a certain personal pain to the film for me. Watching a family be torn apart isn’t easy either. However, beyond the moral and emotional elements to the film there were good and bad things about it.
On the plus side the acting is very solid across the board. Breslin proves that she’s in it for the long haul and will be delivering great performances for years to come. Diaz gives a surprisingly strong dramatic performance. But the gem of the film is, of course, Alec Baldwin who proves once again why he’s so amazing.
Sadly, the film does have its faults. Nick Cassavetes is a very competent filmmaker. So when half the movie seems to be blown out it can only mean that was a conscious choice, but I don’t think it works. It’s really just annoying. Also, the film uses way too much voice-over narration from multiple different characters and while it does provide most of the exposition, it mostly seems over used and unnecessary. Then there is the relationship between Sara and a young boy who is also going through chemotherapy. On one hand it’s nice to see something good happening for the dying girl, but on the other hand, the whole thing is just kind of lame and drags the film out a little too long.
While I haven’t read the book, I’ve read that it vastly varies on some major plot points. If you’re a fan of the book the film might upset you with the changes it’s made. If you haven’t then you might get something out of the heart-wrenching tale. I don’t think enjoyment will be it though.
The film is presented in 2.35:1 Anamorphic widescreen and full screen. Sound is in 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound. I really don’t think the film was shot very well, but the transfer is fine, and the sound is okay too.
Deleted Scenes: (16 min.) The back of the DVD describes these as “powerful additional scene.” But they are just your run of the mill deleted scenes.
Digital Copy Of The Film
I really didn’t want to watch this film, but I ended up not hating it, so I suppose that’s a good thing. But it’s a very hard film to watch. It’s definitely not something to buy because even if you want to watch it, and even if you like it, you’re most likely not going to want to watch it again.
New Line Cinema presents My Sister’s Keeper. Directed by Nick Cassavettes. Written by Jeremy Leven and Nick Cassavetes. Based on the novel by Jodi Picoult. Starring Abigail Breslin, Cameron Diaz, Jason Patric, Alec Baldwin, Joan Cusack and Sofia Vassilieva. 109 minutes. Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content, some disturbing images, sensuality, language and brief teen drinking. Released on DVD: November 17, 2009. Available at Amazon.com.
Tags: Abigail Breslin, Alec Baldwin, Cameron Diaz