Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Drama My Sister’s Keeper review..

My Sister’s Keeper review..

June 26, 2009

My Sister’s Keeper

Judge De Salvo – “There’s no shame in death”

My Sister’s keeper is a very impressive dramatic tearjerker that lets you inside a family trying whole heartedly to deal with one of their own dying from leukemia cancer played very convincingly by Sofia Vassilieva. I could only imagine what family and friends go through to save someone who is dying more and more each month that goes by. The endless vomiting, the sleepless nights, the stress, the anger and of course the chance that he or she won’t live.

That family here is full of the usual down to earth people who struggle with their emotions and issues like we all do. Brian Fitzgerald who has a career as a fireman and is patient and usually reasonable. His wife Sara, she used to be a lawyer in Los Angeles but now has taken a long break to care for her ill stricken daughter. It’s a 24 hour job. Their son Jesse who seems always distant and quiet from all the stress and heartbreak and doesn’t say much, he feels neglected in all this. Their first daughter Kate who was diagnosed with terminal Leukemia when she was a baby. Sara’s sister Kelly also lives with the whole family for moral support and comfort.

Sara and Brian are given a suggestion by their doctor, off the record, that there is an option of hope for saving Kate. They could have another child that will be especially designed for Kate’s rare blood type, a perfect match and a genetic savior, a child for the main purpose to save another child. Sara and Brian make the only wise decision left and chose to have another child, Anna (acted so greatly by the young Abigail Breslin). Unfortunately they never counted on Anna desiring a normal childhood of her own.

After already donating bone marrow, blood, and stem cells, Anna is told that she must give one of her kidneys to Kate or she will perhaps die. But Anna can’t take it anymore and she’s had enough . She seeks out a well known lawyer named Campbell Alexander, she has seen him in tv ads before and memorized them. She files for medical emancipation against her parents to chose what she wants to do with her own body. Anna has all but only $700 dollars to her name to offer the lawyer. Despite the low money Anna offers him, Campbell accepts her case and later we see why he did which I will not spoil.

So the dilemma remains, will Anna win her case and if so, the result will be Kate dying. The case is taken to court for a judge to decide. That judge is Judge De Salvo (Joan Cusack), a firm no nonsense judge who sees more into what’s really going on. We learn De Salvo lost her daughter to a drunk driver which sets up a very real conversation between Anna and her, and flashback that is funny and at the same time very moving. It made me cry.

My Sister’s Keeper impressed me with how effective and good the acting is and how the story played out nicely. None of the so called emotional moments were forced, it felt natural. Many tears are shed as expected. Would anyone react any differently if they were told their child was dying of cancer at a young age?

The movie is directed by Nick Cassavetes who also did the Notebook. He clearly understands the emotional aspect of loss, heartbreak and joy. It’s about a lot of things people still today don’t really grasp, the importance of family and sticking together no matter what happens, instead of easily giving up. And yet, the movie also says that sometimes things are out of our hands and you get to a point where there’s nothing else you can do.

I’d hate to see this movie get lost in the shuffle of all these huge special effects blockbusters. So many Summer movies are just mindless action and comedy devices made for just our eyes, not our intelligence or our hearts. My Sister’s Keeper is a worth while family drama that keeps you involved.

It might be hard to watch for some who have ever dealt or lost someone to cancer, but if you can sit through this movie, than you’ve seen a real gem.

Zav’s reviews :)

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