When famed photographer Christina Eames dies unexpectedly, she leaves her estranged daughter, Mae, hurt, angry, and full of questions. When Mae finds a photograph tucked away in a safe-deposit box, she soon finds herself delving into her mother’s early life — an investigation that leads to an unexpected romance with a rising journalist.
The Photograph (2020)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Release Date: Feb 14, 2020
Stars: Chelsea Peretti, LaKeith Stanfield, Issa Rae
Subtitle Language: English
The film was released in the United States on February 14, 2020, by Universal Pictures. It received generally favorable reviews from critics and grossed $20 million.
A reporter named Michael meets a man named Isaac to interview him about his life post-Hurricane Katrina. Michael takes an interest in one particular picture in Isaac's home of a woman named Christina Eames, and wants to know her backstory.
In the present day Mae, Christina's daughter, inherits a safety deposit box which includes the same picture of herself and two letters. The first is to Mae and the second is for Mae to deliver to her father.
Back in New York Michael meets Mae who works as an assistant curator. She pulls Christina's archival material to show Michael.
Attracted to Mae, Michael intentionally sets up a "chance meeting" with her at a French movie screening her gallery is showing. They flirt and decide to go on their first date, ending with a kiss. They begin to date but this coincides with Michael getting a job in London. Michael struggles to tell Mae about the move as their relationship is new and begins to ignore her calls.
In the past, Christina has a flirtatious friendship with Isaac. Eventually, Christina and Isaac begin to live together but Christina is bored of her life as she longs to pursue a career in photography. Without telling Isaac she gets on a bus leaving for New York City, and gets a job as an assistant photographer. She calls her friend Denise to give her the good news, who tells Christina that her mother has passed away. At the funeral, she mentions that she is going to visit Isaac, but Denise tells her that he married shortly after she left.
A few years later Christina returns to her hometown with Mae. They take a photograph in her old home. While there they run into Isaac who offers to bring them to dinner to meet his wife. Christina refuses and becomes very emotional, kissing Isaac's cheek and crying afterwards which Mae remembers, even as an adult.
In the present day, Mae meets Isaac and delivers the letter Christina wrote letting him know that her letter said he is her biological father. He admits to suspecting it when he met Mae as a child but was too afraid to ask Christina.
Michael goes to meet Isaac and finish his article and is surprised to see Mae there. They spend the day together and at the end Michael tells her that he got a job in London and will be leaving soon but would like to continue the relationship. Mae tells him long distance isn't practical. Mae works on putting together a retrospective of her mother's work and finds a video where her mother says she wishes she had been better at loving people.
While working in London Michael gets an invitation from Mae to see a Kendrick Lamar concert. Mae and Michael meet up and Mae finally confesses her feelings for him with the two vowing to work things out despite the distance.