Directed By: Patty Jenkins
Written By: Patty Jenkins
Costumes By: Sandy Powell
Music By: Jan A.P. Kaczmarek
Sandra Bullock as Andrea Yates
Matt Damon as Rusty Yates
Julianne Moore as Diane Bowsley
Elle Fanning as Sandy Bowsley
David Strathairn as Michael Woronecki
Michael Douglas as Dr. Starbranch
Meryl Streep as Claire Dawson
Tagline: “The story of Andrea Yates and her children swept the country and changed one reporter forever."
Synopsis: On a beautiful spring day, an American family awoke and got things rolling as any family would in the morning. The wife made her husband and five children breakfast. The husband went to work, but would never be able to return to the life that he had been living for the past decade. While he was at work, his wife had drowned their children, including the newborn baby, in the bath tub. After committing the horrendous act, the wife called for police. The police officer hurried to the residence, which was identified as the home of the Yates family. He found a mother, drenched in water, and her children, lifeless on the master bed. Andrea Yates was brought into the police station and charged with murder. Her case blew-up into one of the highest profile murders of the new century. Reporters from all over the country flocked to Texas to interview Andrea. However, Diane Bowsley was different from all the others. She was a single mother, and a reporter for a Chicago paper. As she interviewed Andrea over the course of a week, she learned of the woman’s motives and intentions. Diane’s experience with Andrea would end up mending her relationship with her daughter. The interviewing experience also acts as a way for Andrea to get her story out. Andrea Yates shared with Diane tales of her multiple suicide attempts, medications prescribed by confused doctors, and of her religious beliefs. Various people come in and out of these stories. Andrea explains that she met her husband, Rusty Yates, at an apartment complex where they both had lived. She tells of Michael Woronecki and Claire Dawson, who were both religious role models for Andrea. Claire was an older woman, who seemed peaceful and sure of her faith. Andrea hoped to reach such equilibrium. Michael Woronecki was a nice man and a helping hand in the community. The interview between Diane and Andrea does more than just describe the people in Andrea’s life. It leads to Andrea admitting that she had committed a crime, but she was influenced by her severe depression, possible insanity, and religious beliefs. In her mind, the children needed to die before they could be corrupted. She just wanted them to go to heaven. After the week-long connection between two women, Andrea’s trial would begin, and she would eventually be found guilty. Still, her crime was not all bad, as it resulted in an understanding of motherhood and love for reporter Diane Bowsley. Diane returned to Chicago to live happily with her daughter, Sandy.
What the press would say:
Dear Andrea is one of the most daring and touching films ever made. Patty Jenkins wrote the screenplay and directed the movie as no man ever could. The main storyline in the film surrounds the interaction of Andrea Yates and reporter Diane Bowsley. Jenkins understands the female psyche and was therefore the best person to direct the two actresses. The writer/director also understands originality and made a film that has never been made before. Dear Andrea is part biopic, part family drama, part crime thriller. The film has it all. Most notably, it has an amazing performance from Sandra Bullock. She is extremely convincing as Andrea; the audience will feel as if they are actually watching Andrea Yates. Bullock gives the best performance of the 21st century. Julianne Moore is just as great as always. She pulls off the intelligent, yet frustrated, reporter immensely well. Moore deserves more praises. Elle Fanning is heartfelt and touching as Sandy Bowsley, a young girl with a terrible relationship with her mother, who seems to never be around. The other members of the supporting cast, especially Meryl Streep and David Strathairn, turn in quality work. Add in Matt Damon, who has grown as an actor with his past couple of films, and the ensemble is the best of the year. Dear Andrea has it all: an interesting screenplay, a confident and poised director, a talented leading lady, a beautiful supporting cast.
Possible Oscar Nominations
Best Director – Patty Jenkins
Best Original Screenplay – Patty Jenkins
Best Actress – Sandra Bullock
Best Supporting Actress – Julianne Moore
Best Actor – Matt Damon
Best Supporting Actor – David Strathairn