This wasn’t what I expected at all. A standout Performance by Julianne Moore and a plot I couldn’t have guessed if I tried.

CERTIFICATE:  12A

DIRECTOR:  Bart Freundlich

STARRING:  Michelle Williams, Billy Crudup, Julianne Moore

SCREENPLAY:  Bart Freundlich, Susanne Bier

GENRE:  Drama

RUNTIME:  112 Minutes

★★★ 3 Stars  

Prior to seeing this film, I got a lot of mixed messages about what this film was going to be about.  The poster has the classic look of so many Rom-Com Posters.  The trailer pushed it more as a gritty thriller, which is what made me really want to see it.  But in reality, it was a family drama, with a few really surprising elements that I didn’t see coming.

Isabel runs an orphanage in India and returns to her homeland of the USA to visit a potential benefactor in New York.  While there she gets confronted by decisions she made in her past and is given an amazing opportunity to make amends for them.

Julianne Moore really shined for me in this film.  Yes, Michelle Williams does play the main character, the story is supposed to mostly be about her, but it is Moore’s performance that has stuck with me after leaving the theatre.  The closer to the end of the film you get, and the more you come to understand her motivations, and see some of the emotional scenes she has to play, the more impressive her performance becomes.  She is definitely the standout performance in this film for sure.

The story did not at all go the way that I was expecting. From the trailer I saw I was expecting some dark, gritty thriller, maybe one of the women dies, or murders the other. Instead this was a tale of tragedy and redemption, and from the beginning I don’t think I could have called how it was going to end.  There was just enough suspicion thrown around to keep you off balance until the reality of the situation was revealed.

I do feel like this was one of those films that have been made to impress Critics and win awards and is therefore released this time of year just in time to be on everyones mind for the fast approaching Oscars. I don’t know if this film is good enough for that, but it definitely has that vibe.

It may not be what you are expecting to see, if you love dramas then this one will be right up your alley.