The Good Mother

1988, Movie, R, 103 mins


Keaton is the divorced mother of a six-year-old who lives in Boston, supporting herself by working as a lab technician and teaching piano, while her lawyer ex-husband (Naughton) is remarried and lives in Washington. Keaton is devoted to her daughter and seems reasonably content with her simple existence until she meets Neeson, an Irish-born sculptor. She begins a torrid affair with him, which infuriates her ex-husband. Interpreting comments of his daughter as indicative of something amiss, Naughton charges Leo with molestating the little girl and launches a custody battle. Over the course of the court fight, Keaton must decide whether her lover or her daughter is more important to her. Based on Miller's 1986 bestseller, THE GOOD MOTHER, as directed by Nimoy (THREE MEN AND A BABY; STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME), the film refuses to provide simple answers. In translation from the source material, however, the film becomes rather lifeless and uninvolving. Keaton is convincing as the devoted mother and repressed woman, Neeson (SUSPECT) is very appealing, and Robards is effective as the lawyer forced to propose the unthinkable to Keaton. Overall, it's a competent meditation on a complex subject, but one wishes it had been injected with a little of the passion that the sculptor is supposed to have awakened in the good mother. leave a comment

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