Reviewed by Alicia Glass
Review Rating: 8
A married couple enduring the tragedy of a lost child, decide to adopt an anachronistic girl who hides many secrets.
This really is a fantastic movie, and blows films like The Good Son out of the water completely. It’s my own fault, after watching way too many movies, for guessing the plot before the movie was 15 minutes in. Very little about the truth behind the horror of Orphan is predictable, although I really wish they had gone more into Esther’s past and what turned her into that monster in the first place, besides the obvious. (Don’t throw things, I’m trying not to give it allll away.)
Vera Farmiga does a more or less fine job as mommy dearest Kate Coleman, I just wish they had given her a haircut that didn’t have wings at the most inappropriate moments. And Peter Sarsgaard, who plays daddy, does a stand-up job in being quiet, reserved and unraveling at the seams. And then we come to Isabelle Fuhrman, who played Esther herself, and I simply can’t say enough kind things about her. There’s something very disturbing about a beautiful girl with black Shirley Temple-like pigtails, a smattering of freckles across her nose, and a gently forgettable accent, standing over you holding a bloody hammer! CCH Pounder stars as Sister Abigail, who helped the Colemans adopt Esther in the first place.
Let us not forget that spunky deaf child Max Coleman is one of the major heroes of this story, since noone would believe her mother until it was way too late. Which leads me to another one of those interesting closing thoughts – with some of course notable exceptions, movies generally claim that children are innocent and do not knowingly commit evil. So when, in the case of Kate Coleman, you know damn well your child IS evil and is trying to kill anyone and everyone in the way of what she wants, how do you convince anyone without sounding like a complete whackjob? The attitude of both Kate’s husband and her psychiatrist, while for the most part justified given Kate’s history, was condescending and completely unhelpful, but then what else could they do? Remember that the next time someone tells you, “This is for your own good.”
Esther’s pretty silk and velvet ribbons hide a secret that will make you scream!