Sometimes, life just takes you by surprise. And I suppose you might not even feel surprised if you’re drunk and high. Discover the feeling of an unprepared and mishandled pregnancy, which may just hide something more, in “Antibirth”, making its Canadian premiere at Montrea’s Fantasia International Film Festival.
Lou (Natasha Lyonne; “American Pie”) lives life her own way: she parties too hard, drinks too much, smokes even more, and constantly eats microwaved meals. Along with her acolyte Sadie (Chloë Sevigny; “American Psycho”, “Zodiac”, “American Horror Story”), she takes it day-by-day, consuming every penny she has through her vices. One morning, she wakes up in her trailer park home, given to her by her father before he died, feeling different. Through her various symptoms, her friend Sadie begins to question if her friend is pregnant. Claiming she has not had any type of intercourse in months, Lou shrugs it off and continues to maintain her hectic and unhealthy lifestyle. But as her womb begins to swell at a more than rapid pace, and as the alarming and bizarre sounds coming from within her confirm all suspicions of a growing life, Lou must come to the conclusion that whatever is inside her is sinister beyond human understanding.
Natasha Lyonne gives a fantastic performance as the rarely-sober protagonist. She truthfully makes the audience believe that she is in an altered state in practically every scene she’s in, portraying a broken down woman who lives her life for the present moment and couldn’t care less about tomorrow’s consequences. You often find yourself shaking your head in disbelief as she takes a hit from her bong, followed by a shot of hard liquor, all while sitting on her worn out couch, immensely pregnant.
I’m a big fan of Chloë Sevigny in whatever she does, and she maintains her strong performance in this film. There’s something of a radiant aura to this woman that I just can’t put my finger on… From everything I have seen her be a part of, she has shown that she has a big variety of facets to her acting, and she doesn’t skip a beat in “Antibirth”. Meg Tilly (“Psycho II”, “Body Snatchers”; sister of actress Jennifer Tilly) also plays an important role, doing a good job at it, too, portraying a seemingly fragile, yet strong, woman who seems to have been victim of something horrible in her past and is determined to help Lou.
The pace to “Antibirth” is quite slow, though. The movie has its chuckles here and there as we follow Lou in her life of debauchery, but the story development is rather sluggish. It takes a long time before the storyline shifts from its stoned trajectory, making it seem like the dragging lull right about the middle of the movie will be insurmountable. Not many special effects are seen throughout the movie, but those that were used, were used effectively (i.e.: the gigantic foot blister scene). Without revealing anything, the shocking, tongue-in-cheek climatic ending redeems, at least a little, the plot’s lack of speed.
All in all, with a comatose-like pace, but sparkled with some brilliant performances and a gotta-see-it ending, “Antibirth” is a decent independent film that should still be viewed once by anyone interested. I attribute it 3 stars out of 5.