Saint Frances (15)
Saint Frances (15)
Director: Alex Thompson
Cast: Kelly O’Sullivan, Ramona Edith Williams, Charin Alvarez, Jim True-Frost, Max Lipchitz, Francis Guinan, Lily Mojekwu, Charin Alvarez, Laura T. Fisher
Synopsis: Aimless thirty-four-year-old Bridget finally catches a break when she meets a nice guy and lands a much-needed job nannying six-year-old Frances. But an unwanted pregnancy introduces an unexpected complication. To make matters worse, she clashes with the obstinate Frances and struggles to navigate a growing tension between Frances’s moms. Amidst her tempestuous personal relationships, a reluctant friendship with Frances emerges, and Bridget contends with the inevitable joys and shit-shows of becoming a part of someone else’s family.
From director Alex Thompson and actor-writer Kelly O’Sullivan comes this impressive, quirky film which has a wonderful ensemble cast and which touches on many timely social issues.Thirty-four-year-old aimless ‘server’ Bridget (Kelly O’Sullivan) has not yet achieved her goal of becoming a respected writer. When casual relations with a younger ‘nice guy’ Jace (Max Lipchitz) leads to an accidental pregnancy-turned-abortion, she manages to get a job nannying a pint-sized spirit guide disguised as an obstreperous six-year-old, Frances (Ramona Edith Williams – a superb natural performance). Her parents, Hispanic Maya (Charin Alvarez) and African-American Annie (Lily Mojekwu), have another baby on the way.
The film deals with many serious real-life issues, like abortion and acceptance of gender orientation; past mistakes a person has made are tackled unjudgementally and with immense heart. Other personal themes, such as depression and life crises are explored with such humanity that it is easy to connect with these characters.
Shining brightly at the centre of the action is Kelly O’Sullivan, whose hypnotic performance is as impressive as her darkly comic, wry writing: “Saint Frances endeavours to normalize and destigmatize those parts of womanhood that we’re encouraged not to talk about. I wanted not only to talk about these subjects, but to show them onscreen unapologetically, realistically. This movie could be called There Will Be Blood 2 and a sense of humour is a vital intention of the film. Saint Frances tries to show that abortion doesn’t always have to equal trauma, periods shouldn’t equal shame, and postpartum depression shouldn’t equal isolation. This story and these characters are filled with sincerity, empathy, humour and six tons of love. And there’s that healthy amount of blood.”
In cinemas now
Images courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories