Seldom has feminism been so wacky as in Baby sitter by Monia Chokri! “It’s funny that people can consider my film as feminist,” replies the Canadian filmmaker to 20 minutes. In Canada, we are very advanced in the relationship between men and women so it was not really at stake although the film refers to the #MeToo movement”. The arrival of a spirited nanny in a couple in crisis changes their lives completely in this very funny film.
The misogynistic husband (played by the excellent Patrick Hivon) was fired from his job because of a sexist joke in front of television cameras. The woman (played by Monia Chokri herself) is in deep depression after the birth of their baby. The bubbly babysitter (Nadia Tereszkiewicz seen in only beasts by Dominik Moll) appears like a modern Mary Poppins and does not take long to make the hero’s brother crack (Steve Laplante, very amusing as a libidinous intellectual).
A Matter of Look(s)
The director of My brother’s wife drew her inspiration from a play by Catherine Léger whose absurd side she increased tenfold to flirt with the fantastic. “I thought of the cinema of Robert Altman and the Coen brothers, declares Monia Chokri. These are directors who have demonstrated that comedy is a matter of directing and not just acting. That’s why we took our roles very seriously. The deadpan side of the quartet makes it irresistible.
Monia Chokri chose to shoot in 35 mm in settings inspired by American cinema of the 1970s, which gives a unique aesthetic to her film. “The challenge was not to sacrifice laughter on the altar of image,” she underlines. Director of photography Josée Deshaies, known in particular for her work with Bertrand Bonello on Saint Laurent and Appolonides, has really worked wonders. The film is breathtakingly beautiful.
Nadia Tereszkiewicz’s naturalness makes her character as fascinating as it is bewitching when she puts the baby to sleep, reassures the overwhelmed mother or tickles the libido of machos. “It’s a film about the gaze, insists Monia Chokri. The babysitter hypnotizes the characters who each see her in their own way by projecting their desires onto her when she is completely free. This freedom is communicated to the whole of this film which seduces the viewer with its humor and its originality.