Maggie Gyllenhaal swaps her prison garb for short shorts, halter tops and a bleach-blonde 'do. Fresh from the clink, where she served three years for robbery and heroin addiction, she reenters society with the intent of staying sober.

She moves into a halfway house, looks for a decent job and immediately tries to regain custody of her young daughter, Ryan Simpkins.

Gyllenhaal's bro and sister-in-law have been caring for the kid, and when they express concerns about her ability to look after Simpkins, you can bet there's a big mama smackdown.

As expected, G. becomes so overwhelmed by the pressures of clean living and responsible motherhood that she again succumbs to smack's siren call. Yeah, this is a well-worn tale and one you can find most nights on Lifetime, but by and large, writer-director Laurie Collyer avoids Television for Women territory.

Her biggest asset is the strong cast, namely Gyllenhaal in a bold, buzzworthy performance. Baring herself physically and emotionally, the kickass actress proves a fierce force onscreen and does her
best, most nuanced work since that kinky-slinky turn in Secretary. Yeah, Maggie-baby.
--Matt Stevens

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share