Demotivational Poster of the Day

Demotivational Poster of the Day

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Orphan (2009)

Kate and John Coleman are rebuilding their troubled marriage. Kate had a drinking problem, but is in therapy and is doing well. She has been sober for one year. The couple decides to adopt a child. When they meet the nine-year-old Russian girl, Esther, at the St. Marina Orphanage, they immediately fall in love with the well-educated orphan. Their young son, Daniel, is hostile to his new sister; but their deaf-mute daughter, little Max, is enchanted with her - at first. Eventually, Kate begins to feel that Esther is manipulative and possibly even psychologically disturbed. John refuses to listen to his wife's misgivings, and the wounds in their marriage reopen. Kate calls Sister Abigail at the orphanage, and the nun informs her that Esther has a troubled and mysterious history. Kate delves further into Esther's past and discovers she is not at all who she pretends to be.


"There's something wrong with Esther," but there's something very right about The Orphan, an intense thriller about a seemingly innocent Russian orphan named Esther who is adopted by a presently happy Coleman family with a few skeletons in the closet themselves. Needless to say, there is more to Esther than meets the eye, as the Coleman family soon discovers. I suspected that the talented pair of Vera Farmiga (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas) and Peter Sarsgaard (Garden State) would elevate this movie to a higher level, and I was correct. They play the new parents, and made you take everything more seriously, even if certain turns of events were less than credible. Sure, the evil child thing has been recycled since the days of The Omen or even The Good Son, but the surprise ending puts an interesting new spin on the entire movie. I honestly was surprised, which is a rarity with these types of movies, which can be a dime a dozen. Isabelle Fuhrman (Birth) plays Esther, and she pulls off the transition between cherubic and demonic with pizazz. Also noteworthy was the adorable Aryana Engineer who plays the youngest daughter in the Coleman family; she is so precious and innocent that the scenes with her were almost too difficult to bear. The only downfall for me was the opening scene, which was a little too over-the-top for this otherwise fairly original movie. The Orphan makes you shudder and flinch more than it makes you jump, but it will have you checking over your shoulder long after the credits have rolled (and even those are creepy by the way).


****/*****


4/5 Stars

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