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Losing Isaiah (View amazon detail page) ASIN: B0000A2ZNM Binding: DVD
Jessica Lange is a social worker who falls for an abandoned newborn and breaks all the rules by bringing him home. Halle Berry is the homeless druggie who dumped the baby. One of the film's best attributes is that it reveals everyone's perspective, though much of the story is told from Berry's point of view. Strung out on crack, Berry's character thinks nothing of hiding her baby in a cardboard box near a dumpster before going off for a fix. We watch Berry painfully pull herself up out of the gutter and make a life for herself. She embraces decency and sobriety and becomes the person she might have always been had her childhood been different. After Lange and her amiable spouse (David Strathairn) have formed strong family ties with this difficult child, they find themselves fighting to keep him when Berry decides she wants Isaiah back. Naomi Foner's clever script reveals a legal system that is as much a character in this painful story as the attorney (Samuel L. Jackson) who takes on the case pro bono. Though the film ultimately flounders under a hesitant ending, Lange is such a dynamo that this tragic story still comes recommended. --Rochelle O'Gorman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I felt that Khaila needed more time be an adult rather than trying to claim her son back. For one thing, she abandoned a baby and got hooked on drugs. And another, she needs to know how to be a more responsible adult. Although she got rid of her married boyfriend and kicked her habit, she couldn't offer much for Isaiah who was already accustomed to his surroundings. The Lewins, who are white, raised Isaiah, despite the cultural differences. But they have to relate to a society that is colorblind. They just can't up and assume that everything is like a fairy tale. Margaret's husband cheated on her and she didn't even know it until he admitted it in court.
Unfortunately children like Isaiah are put away and await for families that reflect their background and oftentimes, they never get adopted fully. It's even more sad when people have children that they aren't prepared to care for. Government intervention has made it worse. It is argued by some people that they need to bring back group homes and orphanages and put more funding into them. But of course, that too was under fire.
I felt that Isaiah better off living with a family that was stable and nurturing and that Khaila needed to grow up and get herself together. Perhaps even form a certain bond with the family that took in Isaiah.
Halle Berry, Jessica Lange And Samuel Jackson give outstanding performances in enacting the rivalry and possessive claims that both women have on this young toddler. Poverty versus Affluence, the feasibility of inter-racial adoptions, marital/parental stability (and responsibility) and the do gooder mentality are themes that run their course throughout the drama. All of these elements are dealt with in the drama and pulls the viewer from one woman's claim to the other. Who is right? Does pigmentation or culture matter? Above all, what has love got to do with it?
Social workers and judges in juvenile courts across the country are daily making these decisions of terminating parental rights and placing children in what they see as stable homes. Losing Isaiah is not a fantasy but a present reality. How to resolve these issues of custody is the dilemma for all involved. There are not any easy answers and unfortunately this film ends with an "easy" answer which isn't realistic.
The little Isaiah in the film, like his prophet namesake calls these adults to spiritual, moral and social accountability. His impact makes Margaret (the social worker) deal with what is going on in her marriage and family.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Was so excited to finally be able to order the DVD as i was waiting for it for quite a while. Great movie, makes me cry every time...Published 13 months ago by Jody Laderoute
recommended because there ratings wer high so i chose to buy of this person n was happy with purchase :)Published 21 months ago by shannon commodore
I've seen this movie on Lifetime Movie Network last year, in my own home, during the Spring. All I remember is little bits and peices of it, but - at the end ... Read morePublished on Feb. 1 2004 by Nora
Do you know if this movie is on DvD I want this movie so bad on dvd and can't find it anywhere.... if it is not do you know if it every will. Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2003 by Gayle Insonia