Shit. This movie was way too relatable. Is this specifically a movie for millennials? For. Sure.
Saint Frances has quite a simple premise at its heart, but is rooted in the truest facets of reality. The film chiefly follows new babysitter and all-round flounderer in life Bridget (played by Kelly O’Sullivan, who also wrote the script), who has recently – and accidentally – got a job working for a couple who need someone to take care of their six year old, Frances (Ramona Edith Williams). Whilst this is all coming to fruition, Bridget also finds out that she is pregnant and rushes to get an abortion. Other than that, there’s not exactly much more in terms of plot here but rather it’s a snapshot into the life of your average 30 year old Illinois native. The stuff of indie film dreams, basically.
A story packed with warmth and charm, Saint Frances’ themes of existential crisis and the mundanity of being a thirty-something woman who doesn’t have a clue where life is going are wonderfully pieced together by this script. It’s realistic… and I feel completely read to filth by it. Touché, Kelly O’Sullivan. Touché.
Whilst we’re on the subject of her great script, O’Sullivan is wonderful as the lead. However, I’m kind of obsessed with Max Lipchitz (Bridget’s unexpected boyfriend) now and Ramona Edith Williams is unbelievable in her first credited role. Even though she was only 7(!) when Saint Frances was released, she seems so mature for her years and has the comedic timing of a seasoned actor.
The best thing about this film is that it tells real-life stories of womanhood that are often not considered to be “important” enough to put into a feature film. For me, the pacing goes through a rough patch here and there, and it’s relatively difficult to figure out where the movie is going from time to time, but it’s sentiments are strong, making it quite the pleasure to watch.
Recently, I’ve been noticing some bloody brilliant movie posters in conjunction with the movies I’ve chosen to watch. This one is yet another to add to my favourites:
The stained-glass, the heavenly glow around the main characters, the font… Sigh. What a fabulous piece of artwork. It’s so bold and so clever, which only compliments the movie it was made for.
Where the filmmaking lacks originality (it’s all pretty standard from an aesthetic standpoint), the emotive realism on display enabled me to really connect with it on a personal level. In short: more movies like this, please. I’ll be honest, Saint Frances is perfect for anyone who’s ever felt privileged by their “first world problems”, and I feel completely seen by it. Not to be missed.
Side note: I can only apologise for how short this review is. It’s such a pure and simple movie, and therefore it feels like the less words the better. Remember, sometimes less is more. Take it as a strong recommendation.
Saint Frances is available to stream on Netflix in the UK.
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