Review: Two Mothers

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Review: Two Mothers

By Dominic Preston.

This German drama, released there in 2013, tackles the legal, social and personal challenges facing a middle-aged lesbian couple trying to conceive a child through artificial insemination. Writer/director Anne Zohra Berrached takes us step-by-step through the exhausting journey from clinics which won’t serve lesbian clients to seedy donors who are happy to help, so long as the child is conceived the “natural” way.

Karina Plachetka and Sabine Wolf portray the central couple, Isabella and Katja, with Wolf in particular impressing as the more reluctant half, beginning to face doubts and unhappy compromises as Isabella becomes increasingly obsessed. Berrached maintains a starkly realist tone throughout, eschewing larger-than-life drama in favour of an utterly plausible slow burn of emotion as Isabella and Katja’s communication breaks down and a gulf widens between them.



At a mere 75 minutes, the film is rather slight, thanks in part to its singular focus – not a single subplot presents itself, while each issue the couple faces is dealt with in turn, creating an episodic feel to the narrative. Despite that, the slow pace and lack of variation in plot threads conspires to leave the finished film feeling much longer than it actually is.

Despite this, effective direction, strong central performances and a suitably haunting ending make Two Mothers a worthwhile watch for a look at a complex issue rarely discussed in Hollywood productions.


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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.

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