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 Suffragette

    Suffragette

    Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham-Carter star in Sarah Gavron's drama about the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement

  • Film4 Notorious

    Notorious

    The story of the life and death of Chris Wallace, known to his fans as the legendary rap artist Notorious B.I.G.

  • Film4

    Saoirse Ronan on Arrietty

    The actress talks about lending her voice to the Studio Ghibli adventure

  • Film4 Hope Springs

    Hope Springs on Film4

    Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones star as a married couple who turn to Steve Carell's therapist for help with spicing things up in David Frankel's authentic comedy-drama on Film4

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Bobcat Goldthwait on God Bless America

    "To me, the best part about being famous is taking down phonies..." As God Bless America receives its UK TV premiere on Film4, writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait (World¿s Greatest Dad, Willow Creek) lo

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Editor Chris Wyatt on '71

    Editor Chris Wyatt has worked on modern classics of film and TV including  Dead Man¿s Shoes, Dreams Of A Life and Dead Set. Here, he talks about his work with Yann Demange on ¿71, out now on DVD and B

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

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

or Register

Share