Film Review: “Saint Frances” (2019)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Most couples dream of becoming parents, then there are those who have a chance to give life to a baby but decide to interrupt pregnancy at an early stage. The reasons for such an action are often complicated and we should never judge anybody for that. It is a matter of coming a long way after deciding what should have never been questioned in the first place. And when that happens, what’s next?

Bridget (writer and star Kelly O’Sullivan), in her mid-30s, is determined to end her unwanted pregnancy. Reasons for that are many; either she is not ready or has no time, or just the mindset is not there. But when she finds a job as a nanny, to look after Frances (Ramona Edith Williams), she begins to see life from a different perspective as she bonds with Frances and her parents.

What is interesting about Bridget is her attitude and assurance in herself and her needs. She knows that she is not mother material nor ready to step into those shoes, therefore, makes no delays in asking a doctor to help her. Her roommate, Jace, or half-boyfriend if he can be qualified to be called that, is in fact a father of a child who graciously stands by her side as she begins following step by step abortion procedure at home.

In the meantime, she, after successfully passing an interview, is hired to look after Frances, who does not seem like an easy child to handle. Her parents, Maya and Annie, are already taking care of a newborn child, hence, having Bridget as babysitter should give them an extra hand. However, looking after a baby is not a piece of cake which Bridget will soon find out with Frances. But because of Frances, Bridget will begin developing a feeling she did not feel when she learned about her pregnancy.

Kelly O’Sullivan, as the writer and the lead, allows her character to thrive as a woman who becomes mature, sweet and caring. For instance, in the beginning, all that Bridget cared about was her age and the pregnancy she wanted to interrupt as soon as possible. But that Bridget will disappear as soon as she enters Frances’ life, a little girl who has her own approach to season Bridget and awaken in her feelings she did not know she could have.

Directed by Alex Thompson, “Saint Frances” offers extraordinary storytelling in the most humble way. As it wrestles with one of America’s most debated subject matter of abortion, this film does not try to make a strong political statement, but rather focuses on Bridget’s choice and her lack of maternal feelings. We don’t know what would happen with Bridget if she were to keep the baby. But what we know is that we like Bridget more when she goes through the educational process with Frances and her beautiful family than when we meet her first, which opens up tons of opportunity for Bridget on her way to self-realization in a really beautiful way.

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