Nasty Baby, Sebastián Silva’s weird mumblecore-esque family dramedy concerns a trio of New Yorkers trying to have a baby together: Tunde Adebimpe plays a carpenter, Silva his Chilean boyfriend, Kristen Wiig the hopeful surrogate mother. DP Sergio Armstrong jerkily films the mostly improvised scenes (the film is based on a twenty page outline written by Silva) that are well-edited, shaping an off-kilter story that shifts tonally in the third act, as events evolve organically. Credit Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans for crafting the right sound. Meandering and low-key, Nasty Baby may not be for everyone. There is an awkward birthday party scene in which the carpenter’s pregnant straight sister suggests that there’s a reason she’s having a baby while her gay brother is not. But that’s played for laughs. Because, avoiding the medicinal earnestness of many Sundance hits, Nasty Baby is not a message movie.
By Alec Julian & Carrie White