Mother and Child; Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington, Jimmy Smits, David Ramsey

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Three women's lives share a common core: they have all been profoundly affected by adoption. Karen (Annette Bening) had a baby at 14, gave her up at birth, and has been haunted ever since by the daughter she never knew. Elizabeth (Naomi Watts) grew up as an adopted child; she's a bright and ambitious lawyer, but a flinty loner in her personal life. Lucy (Kerry Washington) is just embarking with her husband on the adoption odyssey, looking for a baby to become their own.

Karen lives with her elderly mother Nora (Eileen Ryan), works as a physical therapist in a rehabilitation clinic, and relies on Sofia (Elpidia Carrillo) to look after Nora and their home while she is working. While Karen and Nora barely speak, Karen keeps up a silent monologue addressed to her absent daughter, writing journal entries and letters never to be sent. Nora's caregiver Sofia brings her little daughter Cristi (Simone Lopez) to work with her, and they enjoy a warmer relationship with Nora than does Karen. Karen resents Sofia and is uncomfortable around little Cristi. In fact, she's uncomfortable around just about everybody-she's a prickly, demanding, and unsociable woman at home and at work, where she coldly and rudely rebuffs the friendly gestures of a new therapist, Paco (Jimmy Smits).

Elizabeth has been newly hired at a tony law firm presided over by Paul (Samuel L. Jackson). Elizabeth impresses Paul with her sharp legal skills and blunt straight-talking style-but also with her take-charge attitude towards seduction. Before long, the sexy associate is having an affair with her much-older, widowed boss. Paul is a big-hearted family man with an expansive view of life, while Elizabeth is emotionally chilly; she describes herself as remote from her adopted family, with no close attachments. Their opposites-attract affair is curious enough to keep them both interested. Elizabeth, though, enjoys sex as sport-and roping in her neighbor Steven (Marc Blucas) is her latest casual conquest. Steven is married to the very-pregnant Tracy (Carla Gallo), and Elizabeth seems to take pleasure, cruelly and deliberately, in undermining the happy-family-to-be.

Starring: Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington, Jimmy Smits, David Ramsey

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