- My Sister's Keeper (film)
- This article is about the 2009 film. For the novel of the same name, see My Sister's Keeper
My Sister's Keeper
Theatrical film poster
Directed by Nick Cassavetes Produced by Brian Grazer
Written by Novel:
Narrated by Alec Baldwin Starring Cameron Diaz
Music by Aaron Zigman Cinematography Caleb Deschanel Editing by Jim Flynn
Studio Curmudgeon Films
The Kennedy/Marshall Company
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release date(s) June 26, 2009 Running time 109 min Country United States Language English Budget $30 million Box office $95,714,875
My Sister's Keeper is a 2009 American drama film directed by Nick Cassavetes and starring Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin, Sofia Vassilieva, and Alec Baldwin. Based on Jodi Picoult's novel of the same name  My Sister's Keeper was released in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom on June 26, 2009.
Conceived by means of in vitro fertilization, Anna Fitzgerald (Abigail Breslin) was brought into the world to be a genetic match for her older sister, Kate (Sofia Vassilieva), who suffers from acute promyelocytic leukemia, in order to keep her alive. Her family members are introduced one by one and each tells about how Kate's illness has affected them personally. When Kate turns 15, she goes into renal failure. Eleven-year-old Anna knows that she will be forced by her parents to donate one of her kidneys. She also realizes that she may not be able to live the life she will want to lead - she may be unable to cheer-lead, play soccer, or be a mother. Anna tells her parents that she does not want any of this, and proceeds to sue them for medical emancipation and the rights to her own body. Her overprotective mother, Sara (Cameron Diaz), who leads an obsessive campaign to keep Kate alive, is indignant at Anna's decision and even strikes her across the face when she receives the notice of intended prosecution. Attorney Campbell Alexander (Alec Baldwin) agrees to work for Anna as her guardian ad litem, suing for partial termination of parental rights. It is later learned he agreed to take the case not for the notoriety, but because he has epilepsy and understands her predicament of not having control over her own body.
The film is interlaced with flashbacks that detail Kate and Anna's closeness, as well as how Kate's illness has affected her siblings' lives and their relationships. In a flashback, Kate also meets a fellow cancer patient, Taylor Ambrose (Thomas Dekker), whom she begins dating. After a date, they share their first kiss outside Kate's house, with Sara and Kate's father Brian (Jason Patric) watching from their bedroom window. After this, he becomes her boyfriend in and out of hospital and supports her as she undergoes treatment. He then asks her to the hospital's "prom" for teen patients; there, they slow-dance, then proceed to a vacant hospital room to make love. A few days later, Kate is crying because Taylor hasn't called her for several days. Her mother Sara is furious when Kate mentions they did "stuff" after the prom and storms out to ask the nurse where Taylor is, evidently believing that he had dated her daughter merely to sleep with her, and learns that he has died.
Kate makes a request to go to the beach one last time, and Brian obtains permission from her doctor and removes her from the hospital to take her and the kids. Overprotective as ever, Sara is furious when Brian shows up at the house with Kate and demands that she be returned to the hospital. Brian angrily refuses and drives off, threatening Sara with a divorce if she does not join them. Sara later shows up at the beach, where they enjoy one final family outing. To Sara's dismay, the judge (Joan Cusack) refuses to grant summary dismissal, and the case goes to a hearing. During the hearing, Anna and Kate's older brother, Jesse reveal that Anna's actions are actually under Kate's instruction; Kate, not wanting to live any longer, and knowing Sara refuses to hear any option other than her desired one, had gently persuaded Anna to refuse to donate her kidney. Sara is indignant at this discovery, but is finally forced by both Jesse and Brian to realize that Kate had been trying to tell her this for some time. Before the case is decided, Kate dies while sleeping at the hospital with her mother by her side. After Kate's death, Campbell brings the court decision: Anna won the case. The family moves on with their lives, but every year on Kate's birthday they go to Montana, which was her "most favorite place in the world." At the end, Anna says that their relationship continues because she will see Kate again.
Production and Cast Changes
Upon the original creation of the film adaption, Dakota and Elle Fanning were set in place to play Kate and Anna, with Dakota playing Kate and her younger sister playing Anna. This pairing was especially convenient as the girls already closely resembled each other and were used to working together. However, when Dakota heard that she would be required to shave her head for the role, she dropped out of the film. As a result, Elle dropped too. The two sisters were quickly replaced, with Abigail Breslin taking on the lead role as Anna Fitzgerald and Sofia Vassilieva on the role of Kate Fitzgerald.
- Cameron Diaz as Sara Fitzgerald
- Alec Baldwin as Campbell Alexander
- Abigail Breslin as Anna Fitzgerald
- Sofia Vassilieva as Kate Fitzgerald
- Jason Patric as Brian Fitzgerald
- E.G. Daily as Nurse Susan
- Lin Shaye as Nurse Adele
- Evan Ellingson as Jesse Fitzgerald
- Heather Wahlquist as Aunt Kelly
- Luke Wilson as Edward Alexander
- Joan Cusack as Judge De Salvo
- Thomas Dekker as Taylor Ambrose
- Jeffrey Markle as Dr. Wayne
- Emily Deschanel as Dr. Farquad
- Amit Khanduja as Chief Surgeon
- Olivia Hancock as Young Kate Fitzgerald
The film received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes reports that 47% of reviews for the film were positive, based on 126 reviews. another aggregate review site Metacritic reported 51% positive reviews based on 28 reviews.
In its opening weekend it placed 5th with a total of $12,442,212, behind Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, The Proposal (second weekend), The Hangover (fourth weekend), and Up (fifth weekend). The film left theatres on October 8, 2009 with a domestic total of $49,200,230 with a further $46,459,927 from foreign markets. It has grossed $95,660,157 worldwide .
Year Award Category Recipient Result 2009 Teen Choice Award Choice Summer Movie Drama My Sister's Keeper Won 2009 ALMA Awards Outstanding Actress in Motion Picture Cameron Diaz Won 2010 Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress Abigail Breslin Won Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Actor Brennan Bailey Nominated Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Actress Sofia Vassilieva Won
Changes from book
The director decided to make the ending of the movie different than the book against Picoult's wishes. Four major story threads were altered:
- Julia Romano - In the book she's an advisor to Anna, she is also romantically involved with Campbell, and heartbroken by him when they were younger.
- The relationship between Jesse and Brian is not explored in the film, where as in the book Jesse's character is a lot more complex as he started a lot of the fires that Brian had to put out, eventually he finds out and confronts Jesse about them.
- The history of Campbell and Judge is explained towards the end of the book, during a conversation Campbell and Julia have.
- The end of the book has Anna being killed in a car accident, Campbell steps in and Anna's usable organs are harvested for reuse including the vital kidney for Kate who goes into remission, Campbell and Julia end up marrying.
- Vega 4 - Life Is Beautiful
TV Spot :
- Don Ho - Tiny Bubbles
- E.G. Daily - Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries
- Priscilla Ahn - Find My Way Back Home
- Jimmy Scott - Heaven
- Regina Spektor - Better
- Jonah Johnson - With You
- Greg Laswell - Girls Just Want To Have Fun
- Pete Yorn - Don’t Wanna Cry
- Phil Xenidis - Kill Me
- Jeff Buckley - We All Fall In Love Sometimes
- Edwina Hayes - Feels Like Home
- ^ Fleming, Michael (2008-02-12). "Breslin, Vassilieva to star in 'Keeper'. Duo replaces Fanning sisters in New Line film". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117980824.html?categoryid=13&cs=1. Retrieved 2008-02-13.
- ^ "My Sister's Keeper". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/10010662. Retrieved 2009-12-07. [dead link]
- ^ "My Sister's Keeper (2009): Reviews". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/mysisterskeeper.
- ^ http://boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?view=&yr=2009&wknd=26&p=.htm
- ^ http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=mysisterskeeper.htm
- ^ Teen Choice Awards winners
- Official website
- My Sister's Keeper at Box Office Mojo
- My Sister's Keeper at the Internet Movie Database
- My Sister's Keeper at Rotten Tomatoes
Films directed by Nick Cassavetes
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