Movie Review: Mothers and Daughters
by Mary Bennett
Mothers and Daughters boasts an impressive ensemble of stars, including Susan Sarandon, Sharon Stone, Christina Ricci, Courtney Cox, Mira Sovino, and Selma Blair. It features interconnected stories based on the theme of motherhood – complete with the trials, heartache, and rich reward that accompany it.
Rigby Gray (Selma Blair) is a photographer whose voice narration attempts to serve as a connective element throughout the movie. Gray is a single photographer who’s at a career high when she finds herself pregnant and alone, recently dumped by her boyfriend who decides to give his marriage another try.
As a single immersed in her career, Gray initially turns her thoughts to abortion, feeling it is her best option. She has a consultation with her doctor and decides to schedule an abortion, only to discover that she is not able to go through with it. Her decision leads to much introspection, giving her a refreshed spirit and enabling her to reexamine her estranged relationship with her own mother, whose health is deteriorating.
The unconditional love a mother feels for her child is never questioned in the movie. This, coupled with the fact that Gray, though pregnant at an inconvenient time and under less than ideal circumstances, decides to keep her child, make this a movie worth watching. However, the movie could have been much more effective and imprinted a longer-lasting impression on the minds of viewers, had there been fewer relationships to follow, and less melodrama to offer distraction.
Ultimately, the fact that Hollywood decides to have Blair’s character embrace her pregnancy (at a time when far too many women choose to terminate) is enough to elicit a recommend for Mothers and Daughters. Yes, much could be improved, but by watching the movie, the audience is reminded of the fragility of life and the rewards that come from respecting life, even when, or perhaps especially when, it seems the most somber and difficult.
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For a short list of movies intentionally about nonviolence, see a past holiday issue of our weekly updates, Peace & Life Connections. Our Advisory Board member John Whitehead has written an article on movies with anti-war themes in Peacemaking for Life.
Other movies covered in our blog posts:
Hollywood Movie Insights (The Giver, The Whistleblower, and The Ides of March)
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