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June 27, 2009
Review - " My Sister's Keeper "  - (in Theaters) By Roland Hansen
And despite the height of melodrama, we buy her performance despite how shrill she gets in her more overprotective
moments. Sara is the unltimate in selfishness, she care only about the life of her eldest daughter - you notice I didn't say
anything about the well-being of her child. In her mind she only has one child. She completely ignores the needs of her other
offspring. She doesn't see Anna as a daughter, she's only an organ bank for her real daughter. Anna is essentially a donor
child, conceived to be spare parts for her sister.

“My whole life is a pain.” – Kate

A mere glance into Anna Fitzgerald’s (Abigail Breslin) eyes reveals a profound sadness in her being. I have been a fan of of
Abigail Breslin since her award winning performance in "Little Miss Sunshine". She is a superb actress and has perfromed
beautifully in everything she's done and she is certainly no excpetion here. You can't say enough about young Abigail
Breslin, my vote for best child actor around. Breslin acts with the poise of an adult while still being a child rather than a
twenty-year-old in a twelve-year-old body. Breslin is billed as the star but it's Sofia Vassilieva who truly steals the show as
the young girl dying of cancer. Sofia played Kate so well that you could see the helplessness in her eyes as she fights for
her life. This is a powerful performance that resonates every single second.
Combining the angst of an adolescent with the pride and vanity of a young
girl who has lost her hair and a body slowly shutting down, this young lady
captures the pain and heartbreak perfectly. Oftentimes too, that heartbreak
is not for her mortality, but instead for what her condition is doing to those
she loves. You will see the helplessness in her eyes as she watches the
tears, anger, and frustration of those trying tofight for her life. Breslin and
Vassilieva are believable as siblings with a complicated relationship, while
Baldwin and Joan Cusack (as a judge) provide valuable peripheral support.
Joan Cusack brings some emotional weight in a role as the lawsuit's judge,
her life mirroring that of Diaz's Sara. Evan Ellingson is also very effective
as Jesse, the keeper of Anna's secret and silent presence of strength for
the family, watching everything fall apart, trying his best to stay sane and
hope it all works out.

“Once upon a time I thought I was put on this earth to save my sister … that that wasn’t the point. The point was that I had a
sister.” –Anna

"My Sister’s Keeper" avoids being overly manipulative, but the word subtle is not in the movie’s vocabulary. Between the
family angst, courtroom drama, and the story of terminal illness ripped from the heart of every other Lifetime movie, it
creates a jumbled stew of tonal unevenness which almost can’t be helped. Also, the movie pulls no punches in showing the
reality of a disease eating away at a body as well as the toll of caring for the sick and dying, driving home the human
condition. Its saving grace, though probably adding to the tonal unevenness is how leavened with a gentle humor the movie
is. By no means perfect, "My Sister's Keeper" nevertheless qualifies as an effective piece of familial melodrama - Kleenex
not included.
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My Sisters Keeper movie poster
Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin - My sisters Keeper
“Most babies are coincidences … I was engineered. Born for a particular reason.” –Anna

Under the foundation of happy family life reside many cracks, resentments, depression and dysfunction; especially when a
deadly disease threatens to disrupt all sense of normalcy and happiness. Since her birth, Anna Fitzgerald (Abigail Breslin)
has undergone constant sacrifices to help keep her sister Kate (Sofia Vassilieva) alive. From blood to bone marrow, she has
given whatever is needed to fend off the impending tragedy of her sister's leukemia. But upon the necessity of a kidney
transplant, Anna retains the services of a
lawyer (Alec Baldwin), who takes the case
after viewing her long history of medical
procedures. Naturally, Mom and Dad
(Cameron Diaz and Jason Patric) are less
than pleased, but what can they do? Hold
their daughter down and force her onto the
surgical table? (although we do see that they
have done exactly that when she was
younger). Anna obviously loves her older
sister and realizes the repercussions her
actions will bring about, so why go to such
extremes when the result will be the death of
her sister, and the likely destruction of her
entire family?

Perhaps My Sister’s Keeper should be shown
in theaters that offer seats with tissue
dispensers built right into the arm rests -
it’s a true tear-jerler in the most literal sense
of the term, and it never misses an opportunity to tug at our tear ducts in telling the tale of a young girl conceived to keep
her leukemia-stricken sister alive. The concept of the movie alone may be enough to choke up any loving parent, but recruit
the kind of talent that can make the entire thing believable and even the most cynical of viewers are likely to get a little misty-
eyed. Occasionally overbearing, yet consistently well played, it’s the kind of film that audiences turn to when they need a
good cry.

It's a sad fact that innocent, great kids can get cancer, and few movies have really dug into this tragic corner of life the way
"My Sister's Keeper" does. "My Sister's Keeper" earns its status as a tear-duct cleaner. Yes, the film bombards the audience
with all manner of heartwrenching circumstances and cruel twists of fate, but it's all executed with skill and - most important -
empathy. My Sister's Keeper works because the characters are well-drawn and -acted.
Cameron Diaz &  Sofia Vassilieva - My Sisters Keeper
Sofia Vassilieva & Abigail Breslin - My Sisters Keeper
My Sister's Keeper
Directed by Nick Cassavetes
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin, Alec Baldwin, Jason Patric, Sofia Vassilieva,
and Joan Cusack

Director Nick Cassavetes collaborates with screenwriter Jeremy Leven (The
Notebook) for this drama about a pair of parents who resort to unorthodox methods
in order to save their young daughter's life, only to find their decision coming back
to haunt them in a manner neither could have ever foreseen. Sara (Cameron Diaz)
and Brian (Jason Patric) were coasting through life with their young son and
daughter when tragedy threatened to tear the family apart. Suddenly, their baby girl
falls ill, and her only hope for survival rests in her parents' ability to find a
compatible bone marrow donator. Desperate to save their daughter's life at any
cost, Sara and Brian conceive another child in hopes that the baby will be a genetic
match. But that decision raises a series of moral and ethical questions that rapidly
begin to erode the foundation of the once-happy couple's relationship. With the
knowledge that she was brought into this world for the singular purpose of
prolonging the life of her ailing older sister, the young girl (Abigail Breslin) ultimately
decides to sue her parents for the rights to her own body. The premise is
immediately intriguing, raising questions of choice and obligation.
The Fitzgerald family and movie itself
wrestle with unanswerable moral questions
from can parents force their child to
become an organ donor for a fatally ill
sibling? to the meaning behind such
tragedy and pain? And the audience is left
wondering how will the family heal from not
just the ravages of the disease, but also the
splits caused by the courtroom battle.

The movie mixes some interesting POV
jumping interwoven with flashback
sequences which sort of confuses the
narrative at the beginning until the viewer
gets used to the rhythm of the movie. A
counterintuitive choice, Cameron Diaz
desperately tries to act her butt off as Sara
Fitzgerald, playing a mother who had
basically quit her life (as a lawyer) in order
to fully care for her stricken daughter.