Babysitter (2022)

Director: Monia Chokri
Writer: Catherine Léger
Based on: her own play
Cast: Patrick Hivon, Monia Chokri, Nadia Tereszkiewicz, Steve Laplante, Hubert Proulx, Stéphane Moukarzel, Nathalie Breuer, Patrice Dubois, Eve Duranceau
Seen on: 10.10.2022

Content Note: sexualized violence, (critical treatment of) sexism and misogyny

After Cédric (Patrick Hivon) drunkenly kisses an unwilling news reporter while she’s on air, he quickly becomes a meme – and is fired for it. This is the start of a journey of self-discovery for him. But unfortunately, introspection is hard when you have a crying baby at home. This is also why his wife Nadine (Monia Chokri) would rather leave the house. So Cédric hires Amy (Nadia Tereszkiewicz) as a babysitter. Amy is beautiful, she is unusual, she is free-spirited and she has a strong effect – not only on the baby, but also on Cédric, Nadine and Cédric’s brother Jean-Michel (Steve Laplante).

I absolutely loved Babysitter. It deconstructs performative feminism and toxic masculinity in such a joyful way, it is impossible to look away. It is funny, it is insightful, it is sharp and it is stylish. It’s a feminist Mary Poppins with a twist.

The film poster showing Nadine (Monia Chokri) in a heart-shaped bathtub filled with foam.

Babysitter is a really unusual film. Like Amy herself, it is a little wild and how much you appreciate that wildness will probably depend. It’s also unusual in the way that it is actually feminist, and not just a girlboss feminist take that often pops up in films nowadays because people realized that a bit of a feminist veneer sells well. Babysitter actually criticizes things, especially the men and their self-involved “activism”.

I have rarely seen a film that so clearly showed the problems with a lot of male feminists, and does so while being absolutely funny. It is also remarkable how the film manages to capture the men’s attempts of objectifying Amy, and her consistent refusal to accept the expectation and visions they have of her. As the men are busy with themselves, Amy rather focuses on Nadine and what Nadine may need. This is yet another way the film dodges expectations.

Amy (Nadia Tereszkiewicz) sitting on a blanket in the grass.

Chokri is a director with flair. The sets, the cinematography and Amy herself have an otherworldly vibe that seem to place the film out of time, while at the same time being very specific. The dialogues and the plot contribute to that feeling, and Chokri combines it all masterfully. It is also a film that knows when to use Peaches’ Fuck the Pain Away, and uses it excellently.

In short, I fell in love with the film pretty much immediately. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be one of my favorites of the year, although the year isn’t quite over yet. You should all watch it, too.

Nadine (Monia Chokri) and Cédric (Patrick Hivon) lying in their bed, looking at each other.

Summarizing: can’t recommend it enough.

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