Rodrigo Garcia's latest is what Crash
might have looked like had it been a made-for-Lifetime movie. Like the Paul Haggis film, Mother and Child
is set in Los Angeles and features a seemingly random cast of characters who will, as the stories intertwine, begin to connect. But where Crash
was an unrelenting series of racially charged collisions, Garcia's tale is a postracial story of maternal relationships: Mothers who gave up their children for adoption, grown adopted children looking for their mothers, childless mothers looking to adopt, a teenage mother interviewing potential adoptive parents. There's a certain satisfaction to be found in a film in which the pieces all fit together, but the characters here are so bereft, so unhappy, that it's hard to see how finally having a child will solve their problems. On the other hand, that could be the point. The impressive cast includes Annette Bening, Jimmy Smits, Naomi Watts, Shareeka Epps, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson and David Morse.