Love and Other Impossible Pursuits (2009) Review

An emotional drama about a woman Emilia (Portman) who after having an affair marries the man after he gets a divorce and has a hostile relationship with her stepson due to his mother’s influence.

This film has two different titles, the most widely used is Love and Other Impossible Pursuits but it had a change to The Other Woman in the US. Both of which help to explain what this film is about. Emilia is the other woman, but becomes the wife as well. Having an affair with Jack who she had worked with, his marriage to Carolyn was a shame but he lived for his son William.

Emilia was pregnant but we quickly discover that the baby Isabel died at only 3 days old. This is what we see Emilia having to deal with throughout the film. This causes her to hurt the ones closest to her including her husband, stepson, mother and father. She cannot forgive her father for what he had done to his mother. She has two close friends who are constantly there for her. But she really does make things more difficult for herself but the grief really does take over.

I thought it was a truly fantastic performance from Natalie Portman who really managed to make the character’s pain and suffering so believable. I could not help but to feel sorry for her, even though she wouldn’t really let anyone try to help. She totally pushed them away, but that’s something I can imagine doing myself. Yes she was the other woman and Jack left his wife to be with her but surely that’s better than staying in an unhappy marriage with both people suffering?

William started out to be very annoying due to the way his mother had him act when with Emilia but it soon turned out that he just wanted to keep everyone happy. They ended up helping and in a way saving each other with the way everything was crumbling around them. He was just acting out and when he accepted what was happening it was good for everyone.

The grief Emilia was going to was just awful – I won’t spoil one major part of the story line but it did create a brilliant end scene with Carolyn! Something that I was not expecting to see. I cannot imagine many people seeing this film and I find that a shame as thought the cast worked very well together addressing the very difficult situation of a baby’s death.

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