Review: ‘Saint Frances’

A Heartfelt Look At Life's Twists And Turns

Life doesn’t always shake out the way you had planned. Bridget (Kelly O’Sullivan) finds this out the hard way in Saint Frances. Before she knows it, she’s 34 and working a job as a server that leaves her unfulfilled and wanting more. The problem is, she doesn’t know what direction to take her life. In the meantime, Bridget is finding a nice distraction in her most recent boytoy Jace (Max Lipchitz).

Bridget gets a lucky break when her friend Dana recommends her for a nannying position. Maya (Charin Alvarez) and Annie (Lily Mojekwu) have a newborn and need a nanny for six-year-old Frances (Ramona Edith-Williams). Even without any real prior experience, Bridget eventually gets the job as the summer nanny. Bridget is quick to find that Frances warming up to her will take some work. Frances is an adorable girl with a heart of gold, but is also very clever and knows how to manipulate Bridget. Bridget finds out the hard way that caring for a six-year-old is not just a walk in the park.

On top of her new responsibilities as a nanny, Bridget has some turbulence in her personal life. She finds out that she is pregnant and decides to have an abortion. Jace is incredibly supportive of Bridget throughout the entire process. Jace’s emotional and caring nature begins to rub Bridget the wrong way. Bridget does not want to attach any emotions to what she is going through. Jace on the other hand thinks it’d be healthy to talk about it, driving Bridget away. As the weight of everything Bridget is going through begins to take a toll, she finds the comfort she needs in Frances.

Saint Frances is a touching look at life and some of the obstacles that it can throw at you. At its heart, the film is about relationships, and there are plenty for us to watch grow. The entire cast is fantastic, but O’Sullivan and Edith-Williams shine. Whether it is the amazing chemistry when they share the screen or O’Sullivan on her own, their performances won’t soon be forgotten.

O’Sullivan not only stars in the film, but she wrote it as well. The film is incredibly clever, and I found myself roaring with laughter throughout. There are countless subtle lines that are delivered perfectly and almost always hitting their mark. Along with the humor, we get a healthy mix of drama. Saint Frances isn’t afraid to touch on subjects that may make certain viewers uneasy. Life can be uncomfortable, and Director Alex Thompson and O’Sullivan fully explore this during the film.

Saint Frances has no fluff – it doesn’t need to rely on scene transitions or wacky camera angles or anything of the sort. It’s a gentle reminder that a budget in the millions and CGI throughout isn’t necessary to provide a successful product. Saint Frances is simply a straight up masterful job of storytelling and character building. Plus, we get a tender montage between Bridget and Frances so what more could you ask for? Do yourself a favor and make time to watch Saint Frances – you won’t regret it.

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