Losing Isaiah | 1995

Directed by: Stephen Gyllenhaal

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Main Plot

A baby is abandoned by his drug-addicted mother and is found by a social worker who adopts him. Years later, the birth mother gets clean and fights to regain custody of her son, leading to a custody battle that explores themes of race, class, and motherhood. Both women must confront their pasts and make difficult decisions about what is best for the child they both love.


  • Jessica Lange plays Margaret Lewin, a social worker who becomes emotionally attached to a child named Isaiah and fights to keep him despite his biological mother's attempts to regain custody.
  • Halle Berry's character is Khaila Richards, a recovering drug addict who fights to regain custody of her son Isaiah after he is adopted by a wealthy family.
  • David Strathairn plays Charles Lewin, a lawyer who represents the birth mother in a custody battle over her son Isaiah. He helps navigate the legal complexities of the case.


In the ending of Losing Isaiah, Khaila wins custody of Isaiah after a long legal battle with Margaret. Isaiah struggles to adjust to his new life with Khaila, but eventually they form a strong bond. Margaret visits Isaiah and expresses her love for him, but ultimately decides to let him stay with Khaila. The movie concludes with Khaila, Isaiah, and her other son celebrating Isaiah's birthday, showing that they have become a happy and loving family.

Stephen Gyllenhaal Drama Jessica Lange Halle Berry David Strathairn