The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, Peyton Flanders (Rebecca De Mornay) seemed to be the perfect nanny, but secretly she was out to wreck the lives of the family she was supposed to be helping. Before becoming the nanny, Peyton had a miscarriage due to the stress caused by the death of her husband, Dr. Victor Mott (John de Lancie), and blamed it on Claire (the mother, played by Annabella Sciorra),. Claire suspects nothing, having never met Peyton before.
“Who’s your mommy? Rebecca De Mornay!”
The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, Curtis Hanson’s “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle” comes out of the starting gate with guns blazing. It is an interesting film with the theme of not everything is as it seems or never judge a book by its cover. Peyton, seemingly looking like a nice lady, is devious, dangerous, and downright frightening and Solomon, though slow due to learning disabilities, is immediately judged as a threat on not one but TWO occasions when he only has the best of intentions for the family.
If anything, its much more than a thriller, its an examination on how we all should revisit our opinions of people well past first impressions. “Not everyone who smiles in your face is your friend”.
The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, I found this story to be very compelling. My favorite aspect was the psychological mind games instigated by the character of Mrs. Mott. We see that evil systematically erodes trust of others before it pursues the outright disstruction of its prey. I love the heroic actions of Clare, and the other individuals in the family are very endearing.
The acting in this film is superb. Rebecca De Mornay is chilling as the psychotic caregiver. She brings a malevolence yet oddly empathetic portrayal to a role that could have easily degenerated into campy material. The woman portraying Clare is excellent, and the little girl who plays the young daughter is great. I also love the man who portrays Solomon, a mentally challenged yet wise gardener and fix-it man. This movie is one that should be watched for entertainment and for a stunning portrait of the universal struggle of good and evil.