Like a taller, prettier, American-er Bob Hoskins, Kristen Wiig seems determined to use her success in blockbusters to benefit indie cinema and hone her acting chops in the process. In ‘Nasty Baby’ she plays Polly, Brooklyn-based best friend to a creative, well-to-do, slightly self-satisfied gay couple (Tunde Adebimpe and writer-director Sebastian Silva), and soon-to-be mother to their surrogate child. But what starts out as an intimate, well observed and warmly characterised comedy-drama gradually tips into something trickier and far less pleasant.
Silva rarely misses a chance to put the boot into the smug thirtysomething bourgeoisie, and his lack of generosity towards his characters becomes grating. But the film works thanks to its superb cast: Wiig strolls the line between adorable and obnoxious with the ease of a pro, with Adebimpe in particular offering quiet, graceful support. The final scenes will prove divisive: shocking and effective for some, far-fetched and unnecessary for others. I’m in the latter camp – but there’s a lot to appreciate here nonetheless.