Oh, what a saga this has been. The internet kerfuffle …
Sebastián Silva’s Nasty Baby provokes reaction. It’s a murder story disguised as a low-fi Brooklyn comedy. It eases you into a world of artists in Brownstones, liberal family structures and artisanal cappuccinos and then sucker-punches your expectations with a late in the game twist. The polarizing response to Silva’s choice to derail the expected narrative was felt even before the film premiered. According to the director the film was rejected from the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival with the caveat that if he changed the ending they may reconsider. The film ended up premiering at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and will be seen in limited release Oct. 23rd, before an on-demand release a week later.
Moviegoers have had more than their fare share of cinematic bildungsromans to choose from in recent years. Even for those who found last year’s Boyhood to be too focused on the male experience of growing up, Blue is the Warmest Color, released the previous year, provided a more than suitable alternative. Outside of the realist lens, Pixar’s Inside Out gave a powerful and humorous glimpse inside the mind of an eleven-year girl as she coped with a move and struggled with the anxieties of adolescence. But despite this plethora of films on more or less the same subject, none of them them have quite attacked it in the same manner as The Diary of a Teenage Girl, the debut of writer/director Marielle Heller (adapted from the autobiographical novel of the same name by Phoebe Gloeckner).
“I had sex today…..holy shit.”, says Minnie to her herself, or to the audience – hell, you get the impression that whoever is listening is good enough for her. Minnie is someone who has an awful lot to say about herself, but struggles to find someone to listen to her. Marielle Heller’s debut as a writer/director takes place in the 1970s and follows 15-year-old artist Minnie (Bel Powley), who enters an affair with her mother‘s boyfriend (Alexander Skarsgård) and discovers her sexuality.
Sometimes you don’t want to hear how everything’s going to be alright. You just need someone to share the chaos with you. The Skeleton Twins is about reconnecting with that someone who makes the din between your ears just a little bit quieter. Superbly acted from a pitch-perfect script, this indie darling should make its presence known come award season. More importantly, it’s imbued with a quiet dignity that rises above patronizing head pats and simple solutions. It’s messy and real and sticks with you long after the laughs have subsided and the tears have stopped flowing.