Movie #18: My Sister’s Keeper

I have mixed feelings about My Sister’s Keeper. It’s a very absorbing story about a sister living with leukemia (played by Sofia Vassilieva from Medium), another sister (played by Abigail Breslin from Little Miss Sunshine) who was conceived as a donor match for her, and their family, including a mother obsessed with fighting to save her daughter at any cost (played by Cameron Diaz). The performances were excellent all around (except maybe Diaz, who was often over the top) and many scenes moved me and touched me. However, it was also very heavy-handed. You know those scenes at the end of the movie where mellow acoustic music plays in the background and characters speak soundlessly or just stare off into the sunset lost in thought or coming to terms? Every third scene is one of those scenes. You know how movies based on books might tend to use narration as a way of meaningfully moving the story along or providing the character’s thoughts without having to rely on actors to dramatize them? Each of the family members has multiple instances of providing voiceover narration. However, in between there is an interesting plot about the younger sister suing her parents to be allowed to make her own decisions about donating her organs, and the older sister living her short life in the shadow of sickness and death. My favourite part of the movie (which I didn’t really like at first) was when the older sister Kate started to date a teenage boy who also had leukemia. I only wish that they spent more time on dialogue and dramatic performances to bring out the heart of what these characters were going through and less on those sentimental movie tricks to try to get us emotionally-engaged. (4 out of 5 but it could have been a 4.5 or 5 without the ‘crutches’.)

18 down, 32 to go!

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