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DVD Review: My Sister’s Keeper

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My Sister’s Keeper is an adaptation of the novel with the same name by Jodi Picoult. Sara (Cameron Diaz) and Brian Fitzgerald (Jason Patric) are parents to Kate (Sofia Vassilieva), when Kate is young she is diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia and neither Sara or Brian have the right DNA to help her. Through in vitro fertilization Anna Fitzgerald (Abigail Breslin) is conceived to be a genetic donor for her sister. For years Anna has given cells and more to her sister to help her battle the leukemia, but has been able to do many normal activities.

That’s about to chance because when Kate turns 15, she goes into renal failure. Anna knows she will have to donate one of her kidneys which means she won’t be able to do cheerleading, play soccer or do other strenuous activities because of the loss of the kidney. Anna is tired of being a donor for her sister and goes to see Campbell Alexander (Alec Baldwin) an attorney who agrees to take on Anna’s case of suing her parents for partial termination of parental rights.

Her parents are shocked, but Sara is an attorney who gave up practicing to care for Kate and this brings her out of “retirement.” As the story progresses we learn how Kate’s illness has affected the entire family and we see as her health declines that she doesn’t want Anna’s kidney, she’s done with all the surgeries and all the procedures to prolong her life, she just wants to die. We also learn that Alexander is an epileptic who suffers from seizures and didn’t take the case for its notoriety, but because he understands Anna’s situation of not having control over her own body.  

Both Abigail Breslin and Sofia Vassilieva turn in strong performances as siblings who have a symbiotic relationship which neither is happy about. Each girl wants their own life, but the leukemia is preventing that. Alec Baldwin also demonstrates his versatility to perform in all types of situations. But the strongest performance has to be Cameron Diaz, who is mostly known for her comedic roles, but she was excellent as the mother who is trying to save Kate’s life even though Anna is suffering as much her sister. What she’s doing might be questionable, but she’s strong in her convictions and that comes across in the film.

The extras for My Sister’s Keeper are minimal, as the sole extras are deleted scenes. While these are nice to have, where are the behind-the-scenes and/or making-of featurettes, or interviews with the cast? What would have been nice is a commentary with cast and crew or at least an interview with author Jodi Picoult, her thoughts about the film as compared to her novel and if the changes/differences are better or worse.

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