Jessica Lange is a social worker who falls for an abandoned newborn and breaks all the rules by bringing him home. Halle Berry is the homeless druggie who dumped the baby. One of the film's best attributes is that it reveals everyone's perspective, though much of the story is told from Berry's point of view. Strung out on crack, Berry's character thinks nothing of hiding her baby in a cardboard box near a dumpster before going off for a fix. We watch Berry painfully pull herself up out of the gutter and make a life for herself. She embraces decency and sobriety and becomes the person she might have always been had her childhood been different. After Lange and her amiable spouse (David Strathairn) have formed strong family ties with this difficult child, they find themselves fighting to keep him when Berry decides she wants Isaiah back. Naomi Foner's clever script reveals a legal system that is as much a character in this painful story as the attorney (Samuel L. Jackson) who takes on the case pro bono. Though the film ultimately flounders under a hesitant ending, Lange is such a dynamo that this tragic story still comes recommended. --Rochelle O'Gorman

Movie Backdrop
Expand

Losing Isaiah (1995)

Drama · 1h 51m

IMDB Logo TheMovieDB Logo
Who decides what makes a mother?

Description

Jessica Lange is a social worker who falls for an abandoned newborn and breaks all the rules by bringing him home. Halle Berry is the homeless druggie who dumped the baby. One of the film's best attributes is that it reveals everyone's perspective, though much of the story is told from Berry's point of view. Strung out on crack, Berry's character thinks nothing of hiding her baby in a cardboard box near a dumpster before going off for a fix. We watch Berry painfully pull herself up out of the gutter and make a life for herself. She embraces decency and sobriety and becomes the person she might have always been had her childhood been different. After Lange and her amiable spouse (David Strathairn) have formed strong family ties with this difficult child, they find themselves fighting to keep him when Berry decides she wants Isaiah back. Naomi Foner's clever script reveals a legal system that is as much a character in this painful story as the attorney (Samuel L. Jackson) who takes on the case pro bono. Though the film ultimately flounders under a hesitant ending, Lange is such a dynamo that this tragic story still comes recommended. --Rochelle O'Gorman

Where to Watch

Status

Released

Language

English

Country

United States

Production Company

Paramount Pictures

Budget

$17,000,000

Revenue

$8,500,000
Cast
Person Photo

Jessica Lange

Margaret Lewin
Person Photo

Halle Berry

Khaila Richards
Person Photo

David Strathairn

Charles Lewin
Person Photo

Cuba Gooding Jr.

Eddie Hughes
Person Photo

Daisy Eagan

Hannah Lewin
Person Photo

Marc John Jefferies

Isaiah
Person Photo

Samuel L. Jackson

Kadar Lewis
Person Photo

Joie Lee

Marie
Person Photo

Regina Taylor

Gussie
Person Photo

LaTanya Richardson

Caroline Jones
Person Photo

Jacqueline Brookes

Judge Silbowitz
Person Photo

Donovon Ian H. McKnight

Amir
Person Photo

Rikkia A. Smith

Josie
Person Photo

Paulette McDaniels

Ethel
Person Photo

Velma Austin

Rehab Leader
Person Photo

Glenda Starr Kelly

Group Leader
Person Photo

Joan Kohn

Toby Fredericks
Person Photo

Patrick Clear

Bill Fredericks
Person Photo

Gaby Santinelli

Heidi (as Gabriella Santinelli)
Person Photo

Mike Bacarella

Liquor Store Clerk
Person Photo

Mike Houlihan

Liquor Store Cop #1
Person Photo

John Beasley

Garbage Man
Person Photo

James 'Ike' Eichling

Garbage Man
Person Photo

James F. Tillett

Intern
Person Photo

John Judd

Paramedic
Person Photo

Cheryl Hamada

ER Nurse
Person Photo

Jackie Taylor

ER Nurse
Person Photo

Valerie Shull

Mrs. Ianelli
Person Photo

Laura Cerón

NICU Woman
Person Photo

Jackie Samuel

NICU Nurse
Person Photo

Deanna Dunagan

Dr. Goldstein
Person Photo

Mike Nussbaum

Dr. Jamison
Person Photo

Margaret Travolta

Sandra Harris
Person Photo

Eddie Bo Smith Jr.

Alley Junkie
Person Photo

Jaqueline Fleming

File Cabinet Girl
Person Photo

Sibyl Offutt

Tenement Woman
Person Photo

Greg Hollimon

Tenement Man (as Gregory Hollimon)
Person Photo

Rick Worthy

Alley Man
Person Photo

Torrence W. Murphy

Alley Man
Person Photo

Crystal Barnes

Inmate
Person Photo

Sheila-Marie Robinson

Inmate
Person Photo

La Taunya Bounds

Inmate
Person Photo

Tamara Rutledge

Inmate
Person Photo

Valeri Ross

Day Care Teacher
Person Photo

Jacqueline Williams

Day Care Worker
Person Photo

Ora Jones

Day Care Woman
Person Photo

Nicholas Foster

Boy at Swings
Person Photo

Thomica Laquice Simmons

Neighbor Girl
Person Photo

Evan Lionel

Paramedic #2
Person Photo

Jennifer Crystal Foley

Park Nanny (as Jennifer Crystal)
Person Photo

Matthew Brennan

School Play Boy Singer
Person Photo

Denise Aguilar

School Play Singer
Person Photo

Christy Lombardi

School Play Singer
Person Photo

Hector Matos

School Play Singer
Person Photo

Stephanie Mullin

School Play Singer
Person Photo

Daniel Nudelman

School Play Singer
Person Photo

Elbert Pagan Jr.

School Play Singer
Person Photo

Kate Tash

School Play Singer
Person Photo

Chris Tossing

School Play Singer
Person Photo

Jonathan Rivera

School Play Cymbals Player
Person Photo

Karen Luehne

School Play Pianist
Person Photo

Brian Friedopfer

School Play Duck
Person Photo

Paul Jorjorian

School Play
Person Photo

Jim Minton

Lawyer
Person Photo

Trae Ireland

Neighbor Boy
Person Photo

Antonio Polk

Uncle Tyrone
Person Photo

Michael Anthony Williams

Various (as Michael Williams)
Crew
Person Photo

Stephen Gyllenhaal

Director
Person Photo

Seth Margolis

Writer
Person Photo

Naomi Foner

Writer
Disc Releases
Disc Title Front Cover

Losing Isaiah

(DVD)

9/9/2003

Disc Title Front Cover

Losing Isaiah

(DVD)

9/24/2013

Disc Title Front Cover

Losing Isaiah

(DVD)

8/29/2017

Disc Title Front Cover

Losing Isaiah

(DVD, Keep Case (Std.))

9/9/2003

MobileIcon
app store google play