movie-review logo az world news

BABY RUBY (2022, USA) – 6.5/10

The well-known American playwright Bess Wohl, whose play Grand Horizons was nominated for the most important theater award Tony a few years ago, made her debut in the film world with this somewhat bizarre combination of thriller, horror, psychological drama and black comedy. “Baby Ruby” is a pretty chaotic movie to say the least, where the main character seems to be suffering from postpartum depression. Better to say postpartum psychosis, because the French influencer or lifestyle blogger Jo (Noemie Merlant) is convinced that her newborn Ruby wants to do her some harm.

At first, the life of Jo and her butcher husband Spencer (Kit Harrington) in a lavish house outside the city seems idyllic. Jo is incredibly popular, everyone adores her, her page continues to break traffic records, but all that will change when she finally gives birth to the much-desired baby Ruby. From the first day, Jo will feel that something is wrong, she will be haunted by dark thoughts that she is doing something bad and that something bad must happen. She will become paranoid, she will experience horrible nightmares, nightmares for which she will no longer be sure if it is reality or if she just fantasized, and in the end she will become convinced that her baby has something against her.

From the very beginning, the atmosphere is bizarre, twisted, chaotic, all the more so because the story is told from the perspective of a young mother, for whom we do not know whether she has completely gone astray or is right when she thinks that there is a conspiracy going on around her, somewhat on the lines of “Rosemary’s Baby” and someone has cast a spell on her child or wants to kidnap him. It all starts with the baby’s incessant crying, which Jo can’t deal with and becomes more and more convinced that Ruby must have something against her. That the baby is punishing her for something, so although everyone will assure her that it is normal for babies to cry, Jo will become more and more paranoid and will even begin to suspect that her husband and his mother have come up with some plan to get rid of her.

And then there’s the company of happy and successful moms next door who will cause Jo to become even more paranoid, while her social media fans will also become impatient and worried that she’ll stop posting as soon as Ruby is born. “Baby Ruby” was also an interesting attempt at social satire, a stylized, at times surreal psychological drama/thriller with minimal elements of horror, and apparently Wohl did not choose it by chance because Jo is an influencer. Jo’s popularity and adoration have apparently created the illusion that she is perfect, capable of anything and that she is the one who needs to tell others what to do and how to do it, and she doesn’t need such a thing. She was convinced that she would manage with motherhood the way she apparently managed everything before, and when she realized that it was something she had no idea about and that she didn’t know how to react, she would start to fall apart.