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Laramie Movie Scope:
Saint Frances

Woman negotiates pregnancy, feelings about motherhood

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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March 7, 2021 – A young woman, whose biological clock is ticking, confronts issues about motherhood when she becomes pregnant and takes a job as a nanny. She pushes all those feelings aside, but they finally catch up with her.

Bridget (played by Kelly O'Sullivan of “Sirens” and she wrote the screenplay, too) wants to be a better person, and wants to be more successful too. She took a year of college, but now is working as a waitress in Chicago, a job she hates.

Life gets more complicated when Bridget is hired as a nanny for precocious six-year-old Frances (Ramona Edith Williams) and shortly after that she discovers she is pregnant after a casual sexual encounter with Jace (Max Lipchitz) a man she met at a party.

Bridget immediately gets an abortion, but there are complications. Bleeding continues for weeks afterward, a continuing nuisance. Jace is willing to help her by helping to pay for the abortion and by giving her emotional support, but Bridget suppresses her emotions about the abortion. She's a strong woman who has made mistakes, but she owns up to them and takes charge of her life as much as she can.

The relationship that Bridget develops with Frances takes time. At one point, Frances throws a tantrum at a park, causing the police to bring her and an exasperated Bridget home to Frances' parents, Maya (Charin Alvarez) and Annie (Lily Mojekwu) a gay couple who have their own problems to deal with.

Annie works long hours to support her family, and Maya is dealing with postpartum depression after the birth of her baby. Annie asks Bridget to help not only take care of Frances, but Maya and the baby in her absence, then she gets jealous when Bridget befriends Annie and helps her deal with her depression.

When Annie's jealousy is revealed, Bridget's own suppressed feelings finally come pouring out of her. She has provided effective emotional support for Maya, Frances and Annie, but she needs emotional support, too. As she and Frances become close, it turns out that Frances provides some of the emotional support she needs.

As you can tell from the above description, this story is about a lot of complicated emotional situations. There are no real villains in this story, although Cheryl (Rebekah Ward) an old college friend of Bridget who takes advantage of her situation comes close. This is a very woman-centric story that deals largely with issues related to the second class place of women in society.

The film deals with a lot of issues, like relations between the sexes, religion, social status, male-dominated culture, public breastfeeding, social shaming and girl power. This is a real tour-de-force by writer and star Kelly O'Sullivan who is perfect in the role of Bridget.

Director Alex Thompson also gets strong performances from Charin Alvarez, Lily Mojekwu and Ramona Edith Williams. I don't recall the last time I saw so many strong female characters in a film who all shared so many emotionally powerful scenes together. This film rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff (no extra charges apply). I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2021 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at dalek three zero one nine at gmail dot com [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]