After his first feature film, My brother’s wifeMonia Chokri returns with her second production, Baby sitter. In a much more assumed style, she offers us a poetic-retro-feminist fable, adapted from the eponymous play by Catherine Léger. Baby sitter is a treasure for the eyes, with an extremely worked shape. A successful bet for a bold second film.
After making a sexist joke that goes viral, Cédric loses his job. Encouraged by his brother, a benevolent nerd, he begins therapy and writes Sexist Story, a book that aims to be revolutionary and tackles misogyny. Nadine, a young mother in the throes of postpartum depression, exasperated by the introspection of her spouse, herself lacking in dreams and adrenaline, then lets herself be tempted by the amazing games initiated by a mysterious babysitter. Immerse yourself in their routine, which will be turned upside down by these delicate and surprising events.
Above all, Monia Chokri delivers an extremely aesthetic film. This artistic work, which will vary from sequence to sequence, is established from the opening, with a wrestling match, where bodies, desires and textures are highlighted by an excessively moving and rhythmic, almost organic editing. After this introductory sequence, the film settles into an exploded universe, where each shot is as elaborate as a tableau vivant, halfway between pictorial art and the iconography of music videos from the 70s. This aesthetic work is accentuated by a skilful treatment of the lighting and a fabulous direction of photography for this shoot which was carried out in 35mm.
Having slightly modified the initial text of the play, Monia Chokri signs here an adaptation which nevertheless presents more breaths, bringing a whole dreamlike and magical side to the work. Moreover, throughout the film, we pass through a multitude of genres, which coexist together: comedy, thriller, horror, music video, passing through certain shots which pleasantly reminded us of the New Vague and the cinema of Wes Anderson or François Ozon, underlined by an eclectic soundtrack. ” Baby sitter is a comedy that uses the codes of horror, that’s how I conceived the film, and the horror comes from the female characters because they are powerful. It is the power of women that frightens. says Monia Chokri. She also immerses us in a fable, in a tale, where more theatrical conventions come to adapt to the cinema, and it works wonderfully!
The actors deliver pretty performances, with characters that are sometimes corrosive, sometimes naive, but always attractive. The quartet formed by Patrick Hivon, Monia Chokri, Nadia Tereszkiewicz and Steve Laplante forms an excellent chemistry. The wild charm of Nadia Tereszkiewicz, a French actress with Finnish and Polish origins, accentuates the magical and whimsical side of the film, where she speaks Finnish at several times, like witchcraft incantations. Black humor is omnipresent and some lines, very sharp, are satirical at will. This film about misogyny succeeds in making us have compassion for each of its characters, lost in their search for meaning and life.
“It’s Marie-Madeleine de Bicolline”
We could have apprehended that the form takes precedence over the content of the film, but this is not the case. Certainly, Baby sitter could be scary when you realize that it is mostly about misogyny, toxic masculinity, postpartum depression, the pressure of the mental load and the status of women. Nevertheless, the aesthetic treatment, approaching the tale, and the right dose of comedy injected into the work create a very pleasant film, where several major subjects are intelligently treated, all in lightness.
With this very beautiful second production, completely assumed, uninhibited and daring, Monia Chokri reveals herself more and more as a director. His art will not leave you indifferent. A must of Quebec cinema to start the summer not to be missed!
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Babysitter | Enjoyable poetic-retro-feminist fable
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