By Morgan Roberts Quarantine and pandemic have made it easier to consume smaller films, perhaps because of streaming services snatching them up. Some of those films have focused on seemingly taboo topics. There are movies every year that touch on unwanted pregnancies like “Juno” (2007) or unwanted pregnancies leading to termination like “Obvious Child” (2014) or even female sexual pleasure like “The To Do List” … Continue reading Editorial: Body Autonomy and Choice in Film
Year: 2014 Runtime: 84 Minutes Director: Gillian Robespierre Writer: Gillian Robespierre (screenplay by), Karen Maine (story) Stars: Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffmann By Morgan Roberts Is there such a thing as a perfect film? No. But there are many films that come close. Gillian Robespierre’s feature film debut, “Obvious Child” (2014), is one of those films. With a runtime of 84 minutes, Robespierre ensures … Continue reading Social Isolation Review: “Obvious Child”
Netflix boasts its ability to release a number of comedy specials. If you have seen one special, you kind of get the gist of every other special. The material always differs but the presentation is the same. A comic stands alone, on stage, hoping their zingers land and their poignant messages get across. But when Jenny Slate’s “Stage Fright” landed on Netflix in October 2019, it redefined the comedy special.
Slate’s comedy is a certain brand. Watch her in 2014’s “Obvious Child,” and you will understand what you are getting in for. In the film, Slate plays, Donna, an underemployed, struggling comedienne who learns that she is pregnant after a one night stand. The jokes, and delivery, are killer. Slate adds heart to her humor and humor to her heart. The moments read different but all of the same elements are in play. Continue reading Review: Jenny Slate’s Stage Fright
Re-watching and reappraising “Obvious Child” in 2019 for the In Their Own League top 50 films directed by women since 2010 list, it’s hard to imagine the film finding distribution in the US in an era where stricter abortion laws are being imposed, and the government-backed film Unplanned was a box office hit. Not that the film wasn’t without its share of anti-abortion outrage on its initial 2014 release.
This is a personal film, with a shot of the political. Gillian’s Robespierre’s debut feature isn’t as steeped in the abortion debate as something like Alexander Payne’s “Citizen Ruth”, but it balances a heavy subject with a lightness of touch that shines through Jenny Slate’s leading performance as Donna. Continue reading ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No.44: Obvious Child