Mary & Martha2013
Mary & Martha (2013)
Critic Consensus: Hilary Swank and Brenda Blethyn deliver moving performances in this well-intentioned drama, but rote storytelling and a shallow depiction of Africa diminishes its impact.
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Critic Reviews for Mary & Martha
Its story of loss, love, guilt, awakening and redemption -- while artfully shot, tightly written and well-acted -- ultimately served as a vehicle for a handful of familiar and uncomfortable facts about a disease.
The remainder of the film is captivating, perhaps in part because it taps into humans' innate voyeurism, perhaps because Curtis props open our eyelids to the cause despite the film's missteps.
It has an important statement to make, but any semblance of a story keeps getting interrupted by the filmmakers' need to remind you that malaria in Africa is really, really bad.
While Curtis makes a point of making characters show their grief by gingerly stepping on each other's toes, Mary And Martha is more of a product of unwitting creative insensitivity than an apt reflection of it.
I'm not ashamed to admit that, in the end, this earnest, oversimplified, well-acted piece -- shot beneath a dazzling African sun -- succeeded in bringing a tear to my eye. It also left me gasping for some genuine comic relief.
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