Nasty Baby is a 2015 Chilean-American drama film written and directed by Sebastián Silva and starring Kristen Wiig, Silva, and Tunde Adebimpe alongside Reg E. Cathey, Mark Margolis, Agustín Silva, Alia Shawkat, Lillias White, and Anthony Chisholm.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Sebastián Silva|
|Written by||Sebastián Silva|
|Edited by||Sofía Subercaseaux|
|Distributed by||The Orchard|
The film premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was screened in the Panorama section of the 65th Berlin International Film Festival, where it was named winner of the Teddy Award for best LGBT-themed feature film.
The film centers on Freddy and Mo, a gay couple trying to have a baby with the help of their friend Polly. Freddy is a South American performance artist who is attempting to make a short film entitled Nasty Baby which features himself portraying a screaming infant. Freddy's sperm count is too low causing every attempt with Polly to fail. Mo is reluctant to be the donor but eventually concedes, and Polly successfully gets pregnant. Throughout the film the trio are plagued by a mentally ill vagrant called The Bishop. Polly and Freddy make the mistake of initially being friendly to him, but he is aggressively homophobic and gives Polly unwanted attention. One evening he assaults Polly, and the next morning a policewoman intervenes. This only worsens the situation, and ultimately The Bishop follows Freddy home the same evening his performance art piece is rejected. The Bishop assaults Freddy with a rock while verbally attacking him with homophobic slurs, and in self-defense Freddy swings a six pack of beer at The Bishop's head, badly wounding him. Freddy carries The Bishop up the stairs of his apartment, remorseful and wanting to help, but The Bishop attacks Freddy with a kitchen knife and Freddy kills him in self-defense. Realizing Freddy could be deported because of this, and with Polly pregnant, the trio (with the help of several other friends) take the body to the woods and burn it.
- Kristen Wiig as Polly
- Sebastián Silva as Freddy
- Tunde Adebimpe as Mo
- Reg E. Cathey as The Bishop
- Mark Margolis as Richard
- Agustín Silva as Chino
- Alia Shawkat as Wendy
- Lillias White as Cecilia
- Anthony Chisholm as David, Mo's father
- Constance Shulman as The Bishop's girlfriend
- Neal Huff as Gallery owner
- Judy Marte as Battered woman
- Cara Seymour as Nosy neighbor
The film was originally rejected by Toronto International Film Festival in 2014, since the festival did not like the film's ending. The film instead had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2015. Shortly after it was announced The Orchard had acquired distribution rights to the film.
The film holds a 66% score on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 38 reviews, with an average rating of 6.4/10. The critical consensus reads "Nasty Baby juggles an ambitious array of tones, and not always successfully -- but its talented cast and surprising narrative twists leave a lingering impression." On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 64 out of 100, based on 15 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Writing for The A.V. Club, Mike D'Angelo gave the film a C for its plodding pacing and the abrupt third act which "neither emerges organically from the skeletal narrative nor thematically dovetails with the other storylines in any way" but praised Wiig's performance.
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- "Panorama 65th Berlinale". Berlinale. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
- «Nasty Baby» gewinnt Teddy-Filmpreis. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, February 14, 2015.
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- "Kristen Wiig in Talks for Indie 'Nasty Baby' With TV on the Radio Singer Tunde Adebimpe (Exclusive)". TheWrap.
- Nigel M Smith (February 18, 2015). "Sebastian Silva on Why Toronto Rejected 'Nasty Baby' and - Indiewire". Indiewire.
- An Banh (January 31, 2015). "Sundance Review: Sebastian Silva's Tense 'Nasty Baby' is - Indiewire". Indiewire.
- "The Orchard Acquires Distribution Rights to "Nasty Baby"". The Orchard.
- "Things get weird in the trailer for Kristen Wiig-starring Nasty Baby". avclub.com.
- "Nasty Baby (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- "Nasty Baby reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
- D'Angelo, Mike (October 22, 2015). "Nasty Baby · Film Review". The A.V. Club.