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Shiva Baby (2021)Shiva Baby (2021)

Shiva Baby (2021)

Sharp and anxious, modern and socially claustrophobic, Shiva Baby is a gem

Comedy, Drama

best
THE VERY BEST

8.6

movie

Canada, United States

English, Hebrew

Funny, Grown-up Comedy, Inspiring

2021

Emma Seligman, Female director

Ariel Eliaz, Cilda Shaur, Danny Deferrari

78 min

Synopsis

College student Danielle must cover her tracks when she unexpectedly runs into her sugar daddy at a shiva - with her parents, ex-girlfriend and family friends also in attendance.

Our Take

8.6
Scott Wilson

A young bisexual woman attends a shiva, caught between her parents and their expectations, her ex, and her sugar daddy. Rachel Sennott’s Danielle is yet to find her path in life and everyone is determined to remind her of that. Taking place almost entirely in real-time, the film’s sharp wit is contrasted with constant anxiety, complemented by Ariel Marx’s horror-like score, full of discordant pizzicato that sounds like every last bit of sanity snapping. 

It’s a sex-positive take on 20-something life, treating bisexuality as wholly unremarkable and passing no judgment on Danielle’s sugar daddy income. Its specificities about Jewish customs and traditions are non-exclusionary, while its social claustrophobia is achingly universal. It’s comforting in the way it portrays the social horrors we all face, the feeling that everyone but you has life figured out, and that – ultimately – those who matter will pull through, eventually. One of 2021’s best.

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