- 1 hr 30 min
Childless is a heart-wrenching drama from 2008 that follows a married couple, Natalie and Richard, who have been trying for years to become pregnant but have been unsuccessful. The couple, played by Barbara Hershey and Joe Mantegna, have undergone multiple fertility treatments and have explored other options such as adoption, but nothing has worked out for them. The emotional pain of their infertility is weighing heavily on the couple and is causing tension in their relationship.
Natalie and Richard's despair is felt throughout the entire film as they struggle with the realization that they may never be able to have a child of their own. In addition to their infertility, Natalie is dealing with her aging mother, played by Diane Venora, who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Natalie's mother is often disoriented and confused, which adds to Natalie's emotional burden.
As the couple navigates through their infertility struggles, they begin to explore alternative options including surrogacy. They meet a young woman named Lacy who is willing to carry their child for them. Lacy, played by Madeline Carroll, is a naive and troubled teenager who has had a difficult upbringing. She sees the surrogacy as a way to fulfill her desire for family and belonging.
The relationship between the couple and Lacy is complex and emotional. They form a bond as they go through the surrogacy process, but they also face blatant and subtle forms of discrimination and judgement from those around them. Natalie's sister, played by Marcia Cross, is particularly intolerant of the surrogacy and frequently expresses her disapproval. This added stress causes further strain on Natalie and Richard's marriage.
The film does an excellent job of diving into the emotional and ethical complexities of infertility and surrogacy. It acknowledges the physical, emotional, and financial toll infertility can have on individuals and couples. It also explores the ethical questions surrounding surrogacy, including the exploitation and commodification of women's bodies.
The performances in Childless are exceptional, with Barbara Hershey and Joe Mantegna delivering raw and emotional performances as the desperate couple. The film also highlights Madeline Carroll's incredible talents as a young actress.
Overall, Childless is a powerful and emotional film that explores the devastating effects of infertility on a couple's relationship and the ethical complexities surrounding surrogacy. The film does an exceptional job at portraying the emotional toll infertility has on individuals and couples while also sparking important conversations about women's healthcare and the rights of surrogates.
Childless is a 2015 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.4.