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Shiva Baby

I love this movie but it is not good for my blood pressure


Release date: April 2, 2021
Director: Emma Seligman
Language: English

Who should watch this movie: Jews in their 20s. People with diagnosed anxiety disorders. 

When should you watch this movie: When you’re taking a break from looking at grad schools. 

The sell: I am a scaredy-cat through and through. I don’t like horror movies and am afraid of the dark. And still, nothing scares me quite like this movie does. Shiva Baby packs an enormous amount of stress into a crowded house and proceeds to layer anxiety upon anxiety until both main character, Danielle, and the audience reach a breaking point. The anxiety is additionally salient as it includes both social anxiety at an interpersonal level and more existential anxiety with regards to Danielle’s life and aspirations. Despite being set at a shiva (duh), the tone is far from sombre. Instead, the mood ricochets between dark humor and hair-raising tension, as Danielle navigates suffocating interactions with family, old friends and acquaintances.  This movie nails the complicated dynamics of parental relationships and young adulthood with well-crafted dialogue and seemingly throwaway comments that are remarkably accurate. This movie gets added bonus points for good Jewish representation, the shiva lunch spread is also remarkably accurate. 


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