The Babyknap – Tallulah (2016)

Babies stealing babies.  So this is about a drifter named Tallulah (Ellen Page).  While scavenging for food at a local hotel, she gets mistaken as a hotel worker by an intoxicated mom (Tammy Blanchard).  She pays her to babysit, and our drifter deems her unfit to rear this child, and decides to do something about it.  I watched this on a complete whim, simply because it is available on Netflix streaming and I had nothing better to do.  I have to say that I was not about this when it first started, and I kept missing connection points, but the more time passed, the more I gradually become won over by the story.

1Instead of having unplanned babies, Page is now stealing them.

I don’t like spending time with crying babies, and that is really where the conflict in the story kicks in.  I had trouble getting with this for probably about the first third or so, and that is largely because none of these characters are overly likable.  It’s a sad story, really, and why this is listed as a comedy on IMDb is beyond me, but I digress.  Our lead character played by Page has chosen to live this lifestyle, and while you may never fully understand it, you do accept it as this being an integral part of the person that she is.  She doesn’t make great decisions, and a lot of this movie is the equivalent of watching a relative or a close friend constantly mess up.  You are waiting for all of her lies and deceit to finally catch up with her, but you do understand the reason behind why she did what she did.  When Allison Janney came on as her ex-boyfriend’s mother, that’s about the time when the movie started turning itself around for me, and the relationship between her and Page is what anchors the movie.

2It’s when the movie stops being cynical and starts to believe in its characters again.

Like I said, I think this has a rocky start, but it does come back around at the end, and that is mostly due to the performances given by these actresses.  There is a feminine voice that is trying to be heard, and it makes complete sense that writer/director Sian Heder has done work on Orange Is the New Black.  I didn’t love it, but there is enough good featured in here that I think you would get something out of it if you took the time to watch it.

Tallulah (2016) ***1/2

– Critic for Hire


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