The weather bureau forecasts heavy showers. Bring lots of tissue paper! That Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook) is directing is indication enough but much credit must go to the plot and concept of My Sister’s Keeper, an incredibly moving drama adapted from Jodi Picoult’s book of the same name. It tells the tears and joys of a family with a dying teenager (Kate) and her younger sister Anna) whose body has literally kept her alive.
Kate (Sofia Vassilieva), an acute promyelocytic leukemia sufferer, would have died at a young age had her parents not produced a genetically matching sibling via in vitro fertilization. Anna Fitzgerald (Abigail Breslin) has been probed, prodded and extracted from since an early age. Now, at 13, she’s faced with her sister dying unless she donates a kidney which would restrict her own life. Anna turns to attorney Campbell Alexander (Alec Baldwin) who represents her as she sues for medical emancipation from her parents.
This may be a family scarred by the focus which has always been on Kate but it’s the conflict versus how much love they have for one another that produces the most dramatic scenes. Extra salutes to the writer for the twist in the tale.
It’s good to find Cameron Diaz escaping romantic comedy and unafraid to play her age in the role as the mother. It’s by far her best acting to date. Nevertheless, hearts will be won by the children. Baldwin plays Baldwin but good to find him stepping into this less familiar genre.