23 September 2015

NASTY BABY (/Slash Filmfestival 2015)


USA / Chile, 2015
Director: Sebastián Silva


Even though I've only seen two of his movies so far, Chilenean director / writer Sebastían Silva is now the #1 filmmaker on my movie radar. His super-odd, yet incredibly intense previous movie "Magic Magic" was one of the biggest surprises in 2014, and this year, he surprised me again with the almost uncategorizable, yet totally brilliant "Nasty Baby", a truly mysterious and mystifying movie that revolves around the lives of gay couple Freddy and Mo, who try to have a baby with their best friend Polly. As the trio navigates the idea of creating life, they are confronted by unexpected and very unpleasant harassment from 'The Bishop', a mentally handicapped and particularly aggressive neighbor...

Telling more about "Nasty Baby" would not just be spoilerish, but also very unfair because... well, you just have to see for yourself what happens throughout this absolutely fascinating gem. Silva gives a complete crap about any kind of genre conventions and made a movie that is for the greater part some kinda hipster-comedy (incl. various drama/dramedy elements) with some kinda dark cloud hanging over it, before going into totally sinister territories in the last third. The tone is light-hearted and slightly amusing, but Silva's constantly reminding you that there is something wrong, something that eventually turns the movie completely upside down and culminates into a really bizarre climax that is actually much more subtle than expected, but makes you feel really awkward and leaves an unbelievably bitter taste in your mouth, just like "Magic Magic" kept me brooding for hours.

The main reason for why everything works so absolutely well is the incredibly realistic, incredibly believable depiction of the characters, as well as the breathtakingly intense acting. Silva himself is fantastic as the leading man, a hipsterish and not-really-talented artist who is actually way more unpredictable than you initially expect him to be. "TV on the Radio"-frontman Tunde Adebimpe is equally fantastic as cool, calm and stunningly sympathetic fellow, who - Chris Bumbray from JoBlo nailed it - "subverts all the gay stereotypes Hollywood bombards us with, being a man's man who just happens to be gay". Yet, the movie's most impressive highlight is Kristen Wiig as self-assured, self-contained single woman. Her performance is so goddamn real, it never feels as if she's just playing this complex character. She is that woman.

More great performances from Reg E. Cathey as the unreckonable and slightly frightening 'Bishop', Mark Margolis as strange gay neighbor and Neil Huff as odd gallery owner who could be best described as "interesting quasi-asshole". Camera work, editing and music are all marvellous, especially the intense tribals during the movie's 'turning point', and I absolutely love how Silva's messing and trolling with morals and ethics, as well as with our expectations. Everything and everyone has a dark side, nothing and no-one is as you expect it to be. Oh, also worth mentioning: one of the cutest kitties I've ever seen, and (next to "500 Miles (I'm Gonna Be)" in "Burke & Hare") the most unexpected end title song ever.

If you enjoyed "Magic Magic", you will definitely enjoy "Nasty Baby" too.
Damn, Silva rocks!


  1. Hm. I'm intrigued by the constantly working Wiig who is in everything and jumping genres like an Olympic athlete.

    1. Yeah, Wiig seems to be in everything these days.


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