Decoding Annie Parker (2014)
Starring Samantha Morton, Helen Hunt, Aaron Paul, Alice Eve, Marley Shelton, Rashida Jones, Corey Stoll, Bradley Whitford, and Richard Schiff
Directed by Steven Bernstein
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***
Bernstein's film bounces back and forth between Annie and Mary-Claire's stories and also meanders to and fro in the realms of comedy and drama. The opening line of the film is a quote from Annie -- "My life was a comedy. I just had to learn how to laugh." -- and despite the subject matter, Bernstein attempts to lighten things up. Unfortunately, he doesn't quite succeed in creating an adequate balance and his script never quite elevates to anything more than a tv movie.
That being said, however, thanks to a nice performance by Hunt and an even better performance by Morton, Decoding Annie Parker manages to be a little better than the sum of its parts. Helping as well is the true story of Dr. Mary-Claire King, an undersung hero in the field of genetic research whose contributions to the medical profession are nicely documented here. It's still nice to know that movies have the ability to open our eyes to certain aspects of our history that we know nothing about.
The RyMickey Rating: C