Losing Isaiah

Last updated
Losing Isaiah
Losing isaiah.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal
Screenplay by Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal
Based onLosing Isaiah
by Seth Margolis
Produced byNaomi Foner Gyllenhaal
Hawk Koch
Starring
Cinematography Andrzej Bartkowiak
Edited byHarvey Rosenstock
Music by Mark Isham
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • March 17, 1995 (1995-03-17)(United States)
Running time
111 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$17 million
Box office$7.6 million [1]

Losing Isaiah is a 1995 American drama film starring Jessica Lange and Halle Berry, directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal. It is based on the novel of the same name by Seth Margolis. The screenplay is written by Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal. The original music score is composed by Mark Isham.

Contents

Plot

While craving her next hit, Khaila Richards (Halle Berry), an African-American crack cocaine addict, abandons her infant illegitimate son, Isaiah, in the dumpster. She promises to "come back later", but then passes out from the drugs. The next day, the infant narrowly escapes death in the garbage truck. Baby Isaiah is sent to the hospital, where they discover he is also addicted to crack through his mother's addiction. While caring for Isaiah, a social worker named Margaret Lewin (Jessica Lange) grows increasingly fond of him and eventually adopts him to live with her and her husband, Charles (David Strathairn) and daughter, Hannah. Meanwhile, Khaila is caught shoplifting and is sent to rehab, unaware Isaiah is alive.

Three years later, Khaila successfully completes her treatment and confesses to her case worker that she abandoned Isaiah in the alley. Unknown to Khaila, the case worker investigates and discovers Isaiah's adoption. They hire a lawyer, Kadar Lewis (Samuel L. Jackson) to contest the adoption. An ugly court battle ensues, with racial issues demonstrating inadequacies on both sides. The judge overturns the adoption, returning Isaiah to Khaila, much to the Lewins' horror and sadness.

Even after weeks pass, a distraught Isaiah does not consider Khaila his mother. Although he becomes increasingly withdrawn, he is also prone to violent public outbursts. Eventually, Khaila is desperate for Isaiah's happiness, and asks Margaret to step back in "for a little while... until he can understand." However, she insists she will also continue to be involved. The two mothers embrace each other, both proclaiming their equally strong motherly love for Isaiah. The two mothers then begin together playing building blocks with their beloved boy in a classroom.

Cast

Reception

Losing Isaiah received mixed reviews from critics.

It has a 45% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 29 reviews.

Related Research Articles

Halle Berry American actress

Halle Maria Berry is an American actress. She began her career as a model and entered several beauty contests, finishing as the first runner-up in the Miss USA pageant and coming in sixth in the Miss World 1986. Her breakthrough film role was in the romantic comedy Boomerang (1992), alongside Eddie Murphy, which led to roles in films, such as the family comedy The Flintstones (1994), the political comedy-drama Bulworth (1998) and the television film Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999), for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award.

Jessica Lange American actress

Jessica Phyllis Lange is an American actress. She is the 13th actress to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting, having won two Academy Awards, three Primetime Emmy Awards, and a Tony Award, along with a Screen Actors Guild Award and five Golden Globe Awards. Additionally, she is the second actress to win the Academy Award for Best Actress after winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, the third actress and first performer since 1943 to receive two Oscar nominations in the same year, the fifth actress and ninth performer to win Oscars in both the lead and supporting acting categories, and tied for the sixth most Oscar-nominated actress. Lange holds the record for most nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film. She is the only performer ever to win Primetime Emmy Awards in both the Outstanding Supporting Actress and Outstanding Lead Actress categories for the same miniseries. Lange has also garnered a Critics Choice Award and three Dorian Awards, making her the most honored actress by the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association. In 1998, Entertainment Weekly listed Lange among the 25 Greatest Actresses of the 1990s. In 2014, she was scheduled to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but she has yet to claim it.

<i>Jungle Fever</i> 1991 film by Spike Lee

Jungle Fever is a 1991 American romantic drama film written, produced and directed by Spike Lee. The film stars Wesley Snipes, Annabella Sciorra, Lee, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Samuel L. Jackson, Lonette McKee, John Turturro, Frank Vincent, Halle Berry, Tim Robbins, and Anthony Quinn, and is Lee's fifth feature-length film. Jungle Fever explores the beginning and end of an extramarital interracial relationship against the urban backdrop of the streets of New York City in the early 1990s. The film received positive reviews, with particular praise for Samuel L. Jackson's performance.

<i>Sweet Dreams</i> (1985 film) 1985 film by Karel Reisz

Sweet Dreams is a 1985 American biographical film which tells the story of country music singer Patsy Cline.

<i>Catwoman</i> (film) 2004 film by Pitof

Catwoman is a 2004 American superhero film loosely based on the DC Comics character Catwoman. It was directed by Pitof and written by John Rogers, John Brancato and Michael Ferris from a story by Theresa Rebeck, Brancato and Ferris, with music by Klaus Badelt. The film stars Halle Berry as Catwoman, plus Benjamin Bratt, Lambert Wilson, Frances Conroy, Alex Borstein, and Sharon Stone in supporting roles. The film centers on Patience Phillips, a meek designer who discovers a conspiracy within the cosmetics company she works for that involves a dangerous product which could cause widespread health problems. After being discovered and murdered by the conspirators, she is revived by Egyptian cats that grant her superhuman cat-like abilities, allowing her to become the crime-fighting anti-heroine Catwoman, while also romancing a detective who pursues her.

<i>Gothika</i> 2003 horror film directed by Mathieu Kassovitz

Gothika is a 2003 American supernatural horror film directed by Mathieu Kassovitz, written by Sebastian Gutierrez, and starring Halle Berry, Robert Downey Jr., Penélope Cruz, Charles S. Dutton, John Carroll Lynch, and Bernard Hill. The film follows a psychiatrist who finds herself incarcerated in the penitentiary in which she works, accused of brutally murdering her own husband.

<i>Bulworth</i> 1998 film by Warren Beatty

Bulworth is a 1998 American political satire black comedy film co-written, co-produced, directed by, and starring Warren Beatty. It co-stars Halle Berry, Oliver Platt, Don Cheadle, Paul Sorvino, Jack Warden, and Isaiah Washington. The film follows the title character, California Senator Jay Billington Bulworth (Beatty), as he runs for re-election while trying to avoid a hired assassin. The film received generally positive reviews and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay yet narrowly failed to break even on a $30 million budget. However, Beatty was praised for tackling race, poverty, dysfunction in the health care system, and corporate control of the political agenda, with eminent legal scholar Patricia J. Williams noting the film examined "racism's intersection with America's deep, and growing, class divide."

<i>Twisted</i> (2004 film) 2004 American film

Twisted is a 2004 American psychological thriller directed by Philip Kaufman, written by Sarah Thorp, and starring Ashley Judd, Samuel L. Jackson, and Andy García. The film is set in San Francisco, California.

<i>Hush</i> (1998 film) 1998 American film

Hush is a 1998 American thriller film starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Johnathon Schaech, and Jessica Lange.

<i>Perfect Stranger</i> (film) 2007 American film

Perfect Stranger is a 2007 American neo-noir psychological thriller film, directed by James Foley, and starring Halle Berry and Bruce Willis in their first film together since The Last Boy Scout (1991). It was produced by Revolution Studios for Columbia Pictures.

<i>Blue Car</i> 2002 American film

Blue Car is a 2002 American drama film directed and written by Karen Moncrieff. It was the first film she directed and wrote. The film stars David Strathairn, Agnes Bruckner, Margaret Colin, and Frances Fisher.

<i>Father Hood</i> 1993 American film

Father Hood is a 1993 American adventure comedy-drama film directed by Darrell Roodt, from a screenplay by Scott Spencer. The movie stars Patrick Swayze and Halle Berry.

<i>Crimes of the Heart</i> (film) 1986 film directed by Bruce Beresford

Crimes of the Heart is a 1986 American black comedy-drama film directed by Bruce Beresford from a screenplay written by Beth Henley adapted from her Pulitzer Prize-winning 1979 play of the same name. It stars Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Sissy Spacek, Sam Shepard, Tess Harper, and Hurd Hatfield. The film's narrative follows the Magrath sisters, Babe, Lenny and Meg, who reunite in their family home in Mississippi to regroup and settle their past. Each sister is forced to face the consequences of the "crimes of the heart" she has committed.

<i>Look</i> (2007 film) 2007 American film

Look is a 2007 American found footage film directed by Adam Rifkin. The film is composed entirely of material shot from the perspective of surveillance cameras; though shot using CineAlta movie cameras, all were placed in locations where actual surveillance cameras were mounted. The scenes are staged, though, with actors playing a given script. The film's score was provided by electronic music producer BT.

<i>Men Dont Leave</i> 1990 US comedy-drama film by Paul Brickman

Men Don't Leave is a 1990 American comedy-drama film starring Jessica Lange as a housewife who, after the death of her husband, moves with her two sons to Baltimore. Chris O'Donnell, Arliss Howard, Joan Cusack, Charlie Korsmo and Kathy Bates also co-star in this film. The film, directed by Paul Brickman and co-written with Barbara Benedek, is a remake of the French film La Vie Continue. The original music score was composed by Thomas Newman. Warner Brothers released the film on DVD for the first time on September 15, 2009, as part of the "Warner Archive Collection".

<i>Frankie & Alice</i> 2010 film by Geoffrey Sax

Frankie & Alice is a 2010 Canadian drama film directed by Geoffrey Sax, starring Halle Berry. Filming began in Vancouver, British Columbia, in November 2008, and ended in January 2009. To qualify for awards season, the film opened in a limited release on December 10, 2010. It is based on a true story about a popular go-go dancer/stripper in the 1970s who has dissociative identity disorder.

<i>Tyrannosaur</i> (film) 2011 British drama film

Tyrannosaur is a 2011 British drama film written and directed by Paddy Considine and starring Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman, Eddie Marsan, Paul Popplewell and Sally Carman.

<i>Cousin Bette</i> (1998 film) 1998 British film

Cousin Bette is a 1998 British–American comedy-drama film starring Jessica Lange in the title role and is loosely based on the novel Cousin Bette by the French author Honoré de Balzac.

<i>In Secret</i> 2013 American film

In Secret is a 2013 American erotic thriller romance film written and directed by Charlie Stratton. Based on Émile Zola's classic 1867 novel Thérèse Raquin and the 2009 stage play by the same name penned by Neal Bell, the film stars Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Felton, Oscar Isaac and Jessica Lange. It was screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. The film received a regional release on February 21, 2014.

<i>Harlots</i> (TV series) British period drama television series

Harlots is a British-American period drama television series created by Alison Newman and Moira Buffini and inspired by The Covent Garden Ladies by British historian Hallie Rubenhold. The series focuses on Margaret Wells, who runs a brothel in 18th-century London and struggles to secure a better future for her daughters in an unpredictable environment.

References