Watch Losing Isaiah
- 1 hr 51 min
Losing Isaiah is a 1993 drama film directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal, starring Jessica Lange, Halle Berry, and David Strathairn. The movie is based on a novel by Seth Margolis and tells the story of a woman named Khaila Richards (Halle Berry), who gives up her newborn son Isaiah (Marc John Jefferies) to the adoption agency due to crack cocaine addiction. However, after getting clean and sober, Khaila finds out that Isaiah was adopted by a white couple, Margaret Lewin (Jessica Lange) and Charles Lewin (David Strathairn), who provide him with a loving and stable home.
Years later, Khaila finds out about Isaiah's whereabouts and decides to reclaim her son. The Lewins, who have raised Isaiah as their own child, refuse to give him up, and a custody battle ensues. The story explores the complex themes of motherhood, addiction, race, and identity, and raises questions about the best interests of the child and the traditional family structure.
Jessica Lange gives a powerful performance as Margaret Lewin, a successful lawyer who struggles to cope with the loss of Isaiah and the uncertainty of the custody battle. She portrays the character with intelligence, depth, and vulnerability, and conveys the conflicting emotions of a loving mother who is torn between her maternal instincts and her duty to protect her family. Lange's nuanced portrayal of Margaret adds a layer of complexity to the movie's exploration of the themes of race and privilege.
Halle Berry also delivers a compelling performance as Khaila Richards, a former drug addict who tries to turn her life around and reconnect with her son. Berry's portrayal of Khaila is nuanced and empathetic, and she captures the character's inner turmoil and external challenges with authenticity and sensitivity. The movie does a good job of portraying the complexities of addiction and recovery, and doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of the drug epidemic that swept through American cities in the 1980s and 1990s.
David Strathairn gives a solid performance as Charles Lewin, a supportive husband and father who tries to keep his family together in the face of the custody battle. Strathairn's portrayal of Charles is understated but effective, and his character's quiet strength and inner turmoil add depth to the movie's exploration of family dynamics and the effects of trauma.
The supporting cast also includes Regina Taylor, who plays a social worker who helps Khaila reconnect with Isaiah, and Cuba Gooding Jr., who plays the father of Khaila's other children. Both actors give nuanced performances that add depth to the movie's exploration of the challenges faced by families affected by addiction and poverty.
Overall, Losing Isaiah is a thought-provoking and emotionally engaging movie that raises important questions about the meaning of family, the challenges faced by vulnerable populations, and the complex dynamics of race and privilege in America. The movie's exploration of addiction, recovery, and motherhood is nuanced and empathetic, and the performances by the talented cast are powerful and authentic. The movie's themes and messages are still relevant today, and it is highly recommended for anyone interested in social issues and human relationships.
Losing Isaiah is a 1995 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 51 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4.