My Sister’s Keeper

Film (with rating): My Sister’s Keeper (PG-13)

 

Studio: Warner Home Video

 

Summary: A young girl (Abigail Breslin) who was created with
the sole purpose of saving her older sister (Sofia Vassilieva) from cancer,
gets fed up with the process and hires an attorney to become medically
emancipated.What results is an emotional roller coaster of a court battle as everyone fights to do what they think is right.

 

Review: Being a parent, I feel an incredible sense of sorrow
whenever I see a child ill or hurt. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. So it was
with difficulty I watched “My Sister’s Keeper.” I couldn’t even
finish the book by Jodi Picoult, on which the movie is based.

Director Nick
Cassavetes (alumnus of the heartwrenching and tear-squeezing “The
Notebook”) does his best to place viewers in front of this emotional train
wreck. At times, he plays it too heavily and manipulatively, but at other
times, the drama is just right and heartfelt. There’s no way around it:
“Sister’s” is good, but it’s a weepie, mainly because of the
amazingly touching and real performance by Vassilieva (from the television show
“Medium”). Cassavetes pulls no punches when documenting what an
illness like cancer can do physically to a person, and Vassilieva rises to that
challenge. She even shaved her head to play Kate.

Cameron Diaz also shines in
her role as the uber-strong lawyer-turned-crusader mom. It’s hard to turn her
into a monster when we see that she’s doing what she does out of love. The
film, as was the book, is filled with numerous ethical minefields.
Unfortunately, Cassavetes sidesteps some of them. It would have enhanced the
film if he faced them as squarely as he did the emotional aspects.

Aside from
the director heavily pulling our emotional heartstrings, “Sister’s”
is a good film filled with amazing performances. It brings up difficult
subjects and even more difficult “what-if” scenarios. The movie is a
tough view, but one that’s worth seeing.

 

Extra highlight: Additional scenes

 

What to serve for dinner: Let’s honor Vassilieva,  the major star of this film and a
vegetarian since 2004, by serving up a vegetarian dish like  Garlic-Ginger Tofu Stir-Fry
(vegcooking.com).

 

      1 small Thai pepper, minced

      1 tsp. minced ginger

      1 garlic clove, minced

      1 Tbsp. olive oil

      3 Tbsp. soy sauce

      1/4 cup water

      1 Tbsp. arrowroot powder or
cornstarch

      2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

      1 16-oz. pkg. firm tofu, drained and
cut into 1×1/2-inch pieces

      1 tsp. soy sauce

      2 carrots, cut into 2-inch strips

      1 red pepper, sliced

      1 large bok choy (or 4-5 baby bok
choy), cut into 1/2-inch pieces

      1/2 medium onion, sliced

      1/2 cup yellow squash, sliced into
1/2-inch-thick pieces

      Cooked lo mein or soba noodles

 

Saut the minced pepper, ginger, and garlic in the olive oil
for two to three minutes over medium heat. Add the soy sauce and water,
stirring until well combined. Stir in the cornstarch and simmer over low heat
until the tofu and vegetables are ready. Heat the vegetable oil over
medium-high heat in a nonstick 12-inch skillet. Add the tofu and cook, stirring
frequently (stir-frying), until heated through and browned on all sides, about
10 to 15 minutes. Add the soy sauce and stir-fry for 1 minute. Transfer to a
bowl. Add the carrots, red pepper, bok choy, onions, and squash to the skillet
and stir-fry until the vegetables are tender but crisp, about 3 minutes. Add
the prepared sauce and tofu and stir-fry until all the ingredients are coated
and heated, about two minutes. Serve immediately over the lo mein or soba
noodles.

 

What to talk about over dinner: What lengths would you take
to save your child? Would you create another life just for that purpose? Why or
why not? Is it right to have a baby just to save another? Could you love that
child as much as you do your other children, namely the one you’re trying to
save? Do you think medical technology has outpaced ethical safeguards and legal
boundaries? Do you think young Anna was correct in finally saying no to her
family’s request at her body? Would you be able to make that kind of decision,
knowing that the person your marrow/blood/kidney could help might die without
you? What was the hardest part of the film for you to watch? Have you ever
watched a loved one’s health deteriorate? What would you have done to ease the
suffering?

This entry was posted in Family Films by Kyra Kirkwood. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kyra Kirkwood

Kyra Kirkwood is an award-winning journalist who combines her love of movies and good food in her "Dinner and a DVD" column. Get your week started right with her "Meatless Monday Movies" every Monday, and prepare for the weekend with another "Dinner and a DVD" column on Fridays. "My mama always said, 'Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.'" Forrest Gump

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