My Sister’s Keeper is not like most aimed for the heartstrings tearjerkers. That’s a good thing, actually, because Nick Cassavetes adaptation of Jodi Picoult’s novel is not your typical manipulative weeper, but an honest portrayal of the lives of the Fitzgerald family whose eldest daughter is battling cancer. It’s a film that explores a disease, and a family whose lives are damaged by the disease, and how one daughter’s illness can separate a family, but ultimately bring them together.
Jason Patric and Cameron Diaz are Brian and Sara Fitzgerald. They have always put their family first, no matter what issue a child had. At a very young age, their daughter Kate (Sofia Vassilieva) was diagnosed with leukemia. From that point on Brian, and especially Sara, focused on nothing but their sick child. Sara gave up her practice as a lawyer and sent herself on a quest to ensure that her daughter lives a long happy life.
Kate’s organs are consistantly failing her and she is always needing new ones to live, forever keeping Kate in and out of surgeries. Both Brian and Sara are not a match for Kate, so they are unable to donate any of their organs. The solution is that they create a baby who is designed to help their sick daughter with any parts she made need. The film is told from the perspective of Anna (Oscar nominee Abigail Breslin), who since the young age of five has undergone many surgeries to help save her sister.
Anna is tired of living a life in and out of surgeries and wishes to be medically emancipated from her parents. She wants to live the life of a normal pre-teen girl, and partake in the events and activities any normal twelve or thirteen year old would. She seeks help from Campbell Alexander (Alec Baldwin) who will represent her in court against her mother.
Moral dilemma’s and a family’s crisis take center stage in My Sister’s Keeper. Most critics will find this film to be a maudlin weeper, but never once did the film feel like it was attempting to manipulate the viewers to feel bad for this family. The emotions are honest and genuine, and we sincerely feel nothing but grief for the Fitzgerald family.
Abigail Breslin continues her string of impressive performance as Anna, while I have never been so impressed with Cameron Diaz. Both actresses make the film even more impressive, and portray the emotions of the family’s struggle.
It’s a film definitely worth seeing.