An essential visual metaphor for "Are You My Daughter?" (a.k.a., "Stolen Dreams") is the bedroom of Laura Paddington's daughter Zoe, which has been left intact for fourteen years after the little girl was abducted. Laura has kept everything in place to keep the child's memory alive and to dream of giving the child a home if she ever returns. The bedroom is a pink shrine.
Ms. Paddington is a shrewd attorney, who does not shy away from tackling a case against the toughest group of bikers in Seattle called The Black Hole. But, because Laura Paddington has a hole in her soul, due to the loss of her daughter, she is blinded by the truth staring her in the face when an imposter shows up.
The film includes an interesting set of characters, and the suspense is maintained due to some excellent scripting. Laura meets Jacob Nyholm at her support group, and Jacob provides comfort to Laura beyond their group sessions. But Jacob acts a little too much like a saint. There is the old adage that if it appears too good to be true, then it probably isn't what it seems.
The appearance of "Rebecca," claiming to be Zoe, seems all too convenient. Laura's ex-husband, Richard, is the first to observe how Jacob and Laura are looking at each other in a way that signals much more than paternal affection. The wily detective Garwin is on the scent of a rat, prior to his untimely death apparently due to a bum ticker, but in actuality a bottle of Scotch laced with a drug that will give the appearance of a heart attack.
The film was especially well cast, and the performers evoked the creepy realities of a heart-rending domestic scam. One has to feel for the character of Laura Paddington, who wanted a reunion with her daughter so badly that she lost a sense of perspective that nearly ruined her life. Her dreams were stolen fourteen years in the past, and now she must play out a living nightmare.
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