Saint Frances is sweet and subtle and touching. It deals with issues that are sometimes so hard to admit we think about. Kelly O’Sullivan is fantastic as Bridget and I hope I get to see her again soon.
The Plot in a Nutshell
Bridget is a 34 year-old waitress whose friend has recommended her for a job: a nanny to a young girl called Frances. At first she is unsuccessful, as she doesn’t hide her inexperience, but she takes up the job as Frances’ mums second choice. Bridget meets Jace, a 26 year-old who is also a waiter and they start sleeping together. Bridget then finds out she is pregnant and knows she doesn’t want a child. The film centres around Bridget and Frances’ journey through the summer together. Bridget deals with her feelings (or lack thereof) about her abortion, Frances’ mothers deal with the birth of their second child and postpartum depression and Frances learns about life from Bridget and her mums.
My first trip to the cinema after months of lockdown, I’m not ashamed to say that 1. I went solo and 2. I cried twice. I settled into my seat, not really knowing what to expect, but simply happy to be back in the cinema.
What I got was a beautiful film that spoke to me personally. As someone in their early 30s I do feel that some of Bridget’s worries and issues also pertain to me. She feels lost and unaccomplished but also happy with the choices she makes – she doesn’t compromise. When your friends are all having children and you don’t feel ready, Bridget is your mirror image.
Bridget’s relationship with Frances is pretty great. I loved watching it blossom because of how honest Bridget is, she doesn’t “baby” Fracnes, she uses her own confidence in who she is to teach Frances about the world.
Bridget also has two relationships, a fun and sweet one with Jace and an ill-advised one with Frances’ guitar teacher who is honestly the worst. I liked that Bridget kinda knows this, but doesn’t really care, she knows she isn’t looking long-term.
Bridget also develops an interesting relationship with Fracnes’ mums, Maya and Annie. Maya has a new born baby and is suffering with postpartum depression. Bridget helps her with the baby and to step out of her depression, by getting her out of the house. Annie, on the other hand, has a strained relationship with Bridget, taking her self-assurance as blasé.
We also briefly meet Bridget’s parents who some 30 year olds might recognise – pointing out that their friends are having kids and we “shouldn’t leave it too late”, but also loving you anyway.
Overall, Saint Frances was the perfect re-introduction to the cinema, honest and sweet. I highly recommend it.