Shiva Baby

Shiva Baby

Shiva Baby

  • Directed by Emma Seligman
  • Starring Rachel Sennott, Danny Deferrari, Fred Melamed, Molly Gordon, Polly Draper, Dianna Agron
  • USA | CAN | 78mins | 2020 | rated (15)

Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins

Film runtime: 1h 18m

Director Emma Seligman’s debut feature is a wonderful, toe-curling comedy, led magnificently by a luckless Rachel Sennott.

College student Danielle (Sennott) is faced with a series of awkward encounters at a day-long shiva, a Jewish gathering during a time of mourning. Amongst overbearing relatives, she is rattled by the appearance of an ex-girlfriend and of her secret sugar daddy.

A truly unforgettable debut, Seligman’s acclaimed Shiva Baby finds the sweet spot between distress and hilarity. Led by a commanding performance from Sennott, the film’s masterful formal construction heightens its darkly comedic, sex positive take on family and religion.

Maria Rusche’s close-up camerawork flits cleverly between sober realism and Coen-esque caricature, while Ariel Marx’s score, all pizzicato tuts and clucks, sounds as if it’s being played on Danielle’s ever-tightening nerves.