Midnight's Child,
directed by Colin Bucksey
(Lifetime, 1992)

Being a super-huge fan of The Wonder Years, I was eager to watch this film once I learned that Olivia d'Abo (who played Karen Arnold on the show) was the primary player in the drama. Had I known this was a Lifetime-produced movie with Victoria Principal as executive producer, or that d'Abo would be speaking in a questionable fake Swedish accent throughout, I might have had second thoughts, but what I didn't know didn't kill me.

As much vitriol as some pour out on Midnight's Child, I didn't think it was all that bad of a movie. I'm not saying it's a new favorite of mine because it most certainly isn't, but it is certainly watchable (albeit ultimately disappointing).

When Anna Bergman (d'Abo) first arrives at the home of Nick and Kate Cowan, she seems like a shy but sweet young woman the couple can trust as their daughter's au pair. Little do they know that this young Swedish girl actually murdered the real Anna Bergman and assumed her identity for some nefarious purpose all her own.

After a rough first day, Anna soon begins to fit in quite well, and little Chrissy quickly comes to adore her -- a little bit too much, as far as Kate is concerned. She spends most of her waking hours at work, so it's only natural she would become a little jealous of her young daughter's relationship with Anna. This goes way beyond simple jealousy, though, as Kate becomes more and more paranoid and hysterical as the days go by. Before all is said and done, she finds herself fighting to protect her daughter from a danger she never could have imagined.

Midnight's Child has some significant problems. Kate's behavior appears irrational because there is very little to justify her paranoid delusions, and that makes her an exceedingly annoying character to deal with as the story progresses. A much bigger problem, though, comes from the setup (or lack thereof, to be precise) of the ending. You basically have one of the characters undergo a complete personality change, and there is really no explanation for the sudden U-turn in the character's actions and demeanor. It leads me to believe that a pretty important scene must have ended up on the cutting room floor -- either that or the scriptwriter wasn't very good at his job. Some might argue that the actual ending of the film should have ended up on the cutting room floor, as well, as it is rather silly and predictable.

This isn't a movie you're going to want to watch a second time, but it makes for no worse than an average viewing experience the first time around.

review by
Daniel Jolley

5 February 2011

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new