My Sister's Keeper (12A)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byCassam Looch26/06/2009

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 109 mins

A sentimental tearjerker that boasts some excellent performances and an intriguing premise but is let down by a timid second half that scuppers a surprisingly good opening.

What’s it all about?
Written and directed by Nick Cassavetes and based on the novel by Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper focuses on 11-year-old Anna Fitzgerald’s (Abigail Breslin) attempts to seek medical emancipation from her parents. Anna hires slick lawyer Campbell Alexander (Alec Baldwin) to fight her case as her mother, Sara (Cameron Diaz) struggles to keep the family together whilst the oldest child, Kate, is dying of leukaemia. Kate (Sofia Vassilieva) has only survived thanks to Kate’s continuing medical donations, but this time her condition is more serious, and she needs a kidney transplant.

Sara’s husband Brian (Jason Patric) begins to think that Anna might be right, and feels remorse as their daughter was conceived in a test tube for the purpose of being a perfect match and donor to Kate. With divisions threatening to tear the family apart it is up to Judge De Salvo (Joan Cusack) to ultimately decide the girls’ fate.

The Good
The premise might be treading on TV movie territory, but the opening of the film is a lot better than one would expect. Jason Patric does stoic very well and the younger members of the cast are excellent. Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine and Definitely, Maybe) is already challenging Dakota Fanning for the title of best young actress in Hollywood and she’s helped by a superb turn from Sofia Vassilieva as Kate. There is a genuine sense of emotion attached to her performance and yet she avoids the sentimental trappings and pitfalls of such a tragic character.

The Bad
A clunky and poorly handled finale is compounded by some unnecessary additions to the plot. Alec Baldwin’s character has a cringe-worthy moment and although Diaz does well in parts, she does feel miscast at times, especially as a high-powered lawyer.

Worth seeing?
Better than it should be but still not great, My Sister’s Keeper is an emotional drama that runs out of steam and gets predictable towards the climax. If you’re in the mood for a weepy then this ticks most of the boxes… but it does tug hard at those heartstrings.

Film Trailer

My Sister's Keeper (12A)
My Sister's Keeper has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 19/04/2019 00:03

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