Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • TBC
  • Drama, Thriller
  • 2011

Babycall

Babycall

Synopsis

A traumatized single mum (Noomi Rapace) goes into witness protection with her 8-year-old son in this paranoid Norwegian thriller from writer-director Pal Sletaune.

About

Following a brief Hollywood jaunt with Sherlock Holmes, Noomi 'Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' Rapace is back in Scandinavian territory, once again playing a young woman with mental health problems who's been let down by the system that's supposed to protect her.

She's Anna, a young mum forced into hiding with her 8-year-old son, Anders, ostensibly to escape an abusive husband. But all is not what it seems. Anna suffers from hallucinations and black-outs and her grasp on reality is loosening fast. Terrified of her sexually-aggressive child welfare officer, her only friend is a mild-mannered shop attendant (Kristoffer Joner) who she meets while buying a baby monitor (the 'babycall' of the title) to keep tabs on Anders.

The film starts out as a straight-up psychological thriller but gradually morphs into something more complex and weird. The latter half of the plot is littered with red herrings. Every time you think you've got it sussed, it shifts again, and not always for the better - the ending is so convoluted and far-fetched that it undoes a lot of the good work in the first half.

A gently unsettling string score and greeny-blue Nordic filters help to preserve the menacing tone when the story falls short but it's Rapace's nervily-nuanced performance that carries the film. She compels us to sympathise with Anna, for all her weaknesses, and watching her mental decline is a painful and frustrating experience. Where Dragon Tattoo's Lisbeth Salander has a Taser and an intricate knowledge of computer hacking to wreak revenge on those who have wronged her, Anna has nothing to fall back on except her obsessive love for her son. What's ultimately most upsetting about this film is that Anna's situation is the more true to life.


Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Noomi Rapace
  • Director: Pål Sletaune
  • Screen Writer: Pål Sletaune

In a nutshell

Part disturbing study of vulnerability, part twisty-turny decoy fest, Babycall gets a bit too ensnared in its own web of intrigue.

by Rebecca Davies

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    Our Kind of Traitor

    Ewan McGregor, Damian Lewis and Naomie Harris star in this British spy thriller, adapted from the novel by John le Carré (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy).

  • Film4

    I Killed My Mother

    French Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan stars in his directorial debut, a semi-autobiographical comedy-drama about the bonds between mother and son.

  • Film4

    Ted and Flash Gordon Double Bill on Film4

    Seth MacFarlanes adult comedy followed by the cult sci-fi adventure that acts as a running-joke throughout it.

  • Film4

    This Is 40 on Film4

    (2012) 124 mins 15 Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann star in writer-director-producer Judd Apatow's relationship comedy-drama, a 'sort of sequel' to his second hit feature, Knocked Up.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Berlin 2016: Homo Sapiens

    We're now three days into the Berlin Film Festival, and despite fierce competition from some hotly-tipped heavy hitters (including world premieres of Jeff Nichols' Midnight Special & Mia Hansen-Lø

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Berlin 2016: Hail, Caesar!

    Film4 Site Editor Michael Leader reports on the Berlinale's opening film, written and directed by Joel & Ethan Coen... Since it follows the Coen Brothers' essayistic dive into 1960s Greenwich V

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share