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Nasty Baby 

Wednesday, Oct 28 2015
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Ooh, provocative! Sebastián Silva'sNasty Babydeclares its button-pushing intentions right on its in-your-face title screen, but it actually ends up having a surprising amount of heart. Freddy (Silva) is a performance artist living in a slummier part of Brooklyn with his boyfriend Mo (TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe), and together they're trying to conceive a child with their third partner, the ironically named Polly (Kristen Wiig). Meanwhile, a local crazy person, old-school homophobe, and all-around bad neighbor known as The Bishop (Reg E. Cathey) makes their daily lives deeply unpleasant. Freddy's unpleasant, too, as in addition to making trite art, he has a temper and a tendency to throw his and Mo's cat, which is absolutely not okay. The loose narrative structure makes Nasty Baby feel quite a lot like an Xavier Dolan film — not necessarily a good thing — particularly in the big third-act twist that simultaneously manages to feel telegraphed and comes out of nowhere. By design, Freddy is the weak side of the triangle, intended by the director and actor to be the most immature and unstable. Silva is great in the part, but the chemistry between Wiig and Adebimpe makes you wish Mo and Polly would kick Freddy out. They can both do better, with each other.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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