Kristen Wiig stars in Sebastián Silva's provocative and unnerving drama examining bohemian Brooklyn
Nasty Baby is a meandering, off-kilter film that alternates between passages of amusement and aggravation for much of its running time, before it suddenly snaps into focus in its final stages. Writer-director Sebastián Silva stars as Freddy, a NY artist who wants to have a baby with his partner Mo (Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio and Nevermen) with the aid of their best friend Polly (Kristen Wiig). Together, this trio is a vision of comfortable bohemian contentment in a changing Brooklyn, although some aspects of their lifestyle, notably Freddy’s inane art projects, invite easy derision.
The naturalistic work Silva draws from his actors through largely improvisational methods is consistently superb, but the key performance in the film comes from Reg E. Cathey as Bishop, an unhinged vagrant whose intrusive behaviour acts as a reminder that not everyone is enjoying the pleasures of this gentrified neighbourhood. Nasty Baby’s climactic lurch into violence will divide viewers, but this is a provocative and unnerving film that gets under the skin, and even the most ardent Daniel Johnston fans might not want to hear True Love Will Find You In The End for a while after watching it.
Released by Network