Other Women’s Children” is an emotion-jarring, thought-provoking telefilm. Adapted from Perri Klass’ novel of the same name, the film successfully shows a woman who appears on the outside to have everything together, but who is torn between too many responsibilities.
Story tells of Amelis Stewart (played superbly by Melanie Mayron), who has to balance her time and emotions between her high-powered job as a pediatrician who deals with young AIDS patients, the role of wife to Matt (played well by Geraint Wyn Davies) and mother to son Alex.
Amelia appears to have an ideal life, but she’s slowly moving toward a nervous breakdown. Denny, a young patient, is dying from AIDS complications, and Amelia is getting emotionally involved, which is causing problems at work with her boss, and at home with her husband.
There doesn’t seem to be an answer. Denny’s death is inevitable, more patients are arriving. Her husband tries to understand but finds it increasingly difficult, and eventually leaves with Alex. Her boss is mad at her because she is yelling at a patient’s parents.
Everything comes to a head when in one room, Denny’s life-support machine is being unplugged, and in another lies Amelia’s son, who has come down with a mystery illness.
There is a somewhat unbelievable happy ending, but that’s forgivable thanks to the work leading up to this point.
Direction by Anne Wheeler and editing by Frank Irvine deserve note. Script, well written by Rama Laurie Stanger, is full of symbolic moments and dialogue without succumbing to pretentiousness. While on a day trip at the beach with her son, Amelia’s beeper goes off, prompting Alex to toss it in the sand.
When she’s close to breaking point, a friend of Amelia’s tells her, “You try to do too much.””No, I have too much to do, there’s a difference,” is her response.
Acting is wonderful but Mayron deserves particular note.