Losing Isaiah (1995)


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Movie Info

The battles between adoptive parents and birth parents over custodial rights to a child are a modern legal and emotional powder keg, especially when the children are of a different race than their adopters. This provocative drama provides a wrenching examination of both sides of one such case between an African-American woman, a former crack addict, who threw her infant in the garbage while she went off to make a drug buy and the white upper-middle class couple who have adopted and been raising the child for the past four years.

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Jessica Lange
as Margaret Lewin
Halle Berry
as Khaila Richards
David Strathairn
as Charles Lewin
Cuba Gooding Jr.
as Eddie Hughes
Daisy Egan
as Hannah Lewin
Samuel L. Jackson
as Kadar Lewis
Joie Lee
as Marie
LaTanya Richardson
as Caroline Jones
Jacqueline Brookes
as Judge Silbowitz
Velma Austin Massey
as Rehab Leader
Glenda Starr Kelley
as Group Leader
Joan Kohn
as Toby Fredericks
Patrick Clear
as Bill Fredericks
Mike Bacarella
as Liquor Store Clerk
Mike Houlihan
as 1st Liquor Store Cop
John Beasley
as Garbage Man
John Judd
as Paramedic
Cheryl Hamada
as ER Nurse
Valerie Shull
as Mrs. Ianelli
Laura Cerón
as NICU Woman
Jackie Samuel
as NICU Nurse
Deanna Dunagan
as Dr. Goldfein
Mike Nussbaum
as Dr. Jamison
Margaret Travolta
as Sandra Harris
Eddie B. Smith
as Alley Junkie
Jaqueline Fleming
as File Cabinet Girl
Sibyl Offutt
as Tenement Woman
Gregory Hollimon
as Tenement Man
Rick Worthy
as Alley Man
Valeri Ross
as Day Care Teacher
Jacqueline Williams
as Day Care Worker
Ora Jones
as Day Care Woman
Nicholas Foster
as Boy at Swings
Evan Lionel
as Paramedic
Jennifer Crystal
as Park Nanny
Matthew Brennan
as Singer in School Play
Denise Aguilar
as Singer in School Play
Christy Lombardi
as Singer in School Play
Hector Matos
as Singer in School Play
Stephanie Mullin
as Singer in School Play
Daniel Nudelman
as Singer in School Play
Elbert Pagan Jr.
as Singer in School Play
Kate Tash
as Singer in School Play
Christ Tossing
as Singer in School Play
Jonathan Rivera
as Cymbals Player
Karen Luehne
as Pianist
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Critic Reviews for Losing Isaiah

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (10)

The material is emotionally wrenching, but the actors play sociopolitical totems more than flesh-and-blood characters.

Sep 3, 2008
Top Critic

This is an absorbing and involving picture, but the terms propounded here limit the story, which depends almost entirely on emotions rather than on thought.

Sep 3, 2008 | Full Review…

This drama about interracial adoption is serious and affecting, thanks in large part to the presence of its two magnetic stars.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4/5

Losing Isaiah transcends the custody issue and finds drama in the black-white polarities that neither character can escape.

Jun 18, 2002 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Thought-provoking and dramatically-solid.

Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

While the subject may be controversial enough to merit an Oprah free-for-all, this evenhanded melodrama is neutral to a fault.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Losing Isaiah

So sad! I cried a couple times. Very good acting and a great story.

Erin Collins
Erin Collins

Super Reviewer


A very sweet and touching movie. Extremely intense emotionally. I really didn't know who to root for... the adoptive mom or the real mom. I liked them both and felt for both.

Dannielle Albert
Dannielle Albert

Super Reviewer


Good film, great performance by Halle Berry.

Chosen 718
Chosen 718

Super Reviewer


A remarkable movie!

Leo L
Leo L

Super Reviewer

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