Written and directed by Sebastian Silva / Starring Kristen Wiig, Sebastian Silva, Tunde Adebimpe
Polly: Your sperm count is lower than we thought. That’s why it’s not gonna work.
When best friends Polly (Kristen Wiig) and Freddy (Sebastian Silva) find out they can’t have their much wanted baby together, they turn to Freddy’s lover, Mo (Tunde Adebimpe), to volunteer as the sperm donor. While they await his decision, their idyllic life in the peaceful, tree-lined Brooklyn neighbourhood is constantly being interrupted by the shenanigans of a mentally challenged neighbour. At first, David (Anthony Chisholm) is more of an annoyance – he uses a leaf blower in the wee hours of the morning – but as life gets sunnier for our three leads after Mo consents to be the father, David’s actions become more threatening and violent, taking the audience to a very dark and emotionally charged place.
NASTY BABY succeeds on so many levels. Already a proven commodity as a writer and director (THE MAID, CRYSTAL FAIRY & THE MAGICAL CACTUS), Silva’s charismatic acting performance is beautifully modulated and endearing. His Freddy had me laughing uproariously, then cringing in fear. Should anyone ever decide to film a biopic on the tragic life of Teddy Pendergrass, Adebimpe is just the man for the task. Not only is this talented musician a spitting image of the singer, Adebimpe has power and dignity as an actor. Lastly, mad props and love sent to Wiig. In the role of an older woman desperately trying to have a child, Wiig brilliantly avoids all the clichéd entrapments and pitfalls and brings subtlety, intelligence and humour to her role. The range of emotions she displays with just her eyes are of epic, Streep-like proportions.
I fell in love with NASTY BABY within the first few minutes, even before the credits came on the screen, and that love affair continued to its emotionally draining conclusion. It’s indie movie making at its finest.