Movie review / ‘Baby Done’ (PG)

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Rose Matafeo and Matthew Lewis in “Baby Done”.

“Baby Done” (PG) ***

ACROSS the ditch, Curtis Vowell’s movie tells how Zoe (Rose Matafeo) challenged the conventions of the gestation industry. 

“Baby Done” starts with Zoe denying the result of a pregnancy test in week 26. And follows that with avoidance of all the professional advice about how to conduct herself during the last trimester.

Zoe’s a headstrong girl who, with her partner Tim (Matthew Lewis), runs a small arborist business somewhere in the North Island. 

Rose’s job is to carry her trusty chainsaw up tall trees and saw off undesirable limbs. She’s good at it. She’s ambitious. She’s busting to get selected to represent NZ at the world tree-climbing championships in Canada in about three months’ time. 

Readers with an arithmetical turn of mind won’t take long to work out what is going to occupy Zoe in those months, during which Sophie Henderson’s screenplay squeezes out every possible social, emotional, medical, obstetric and relationship problem that might confront a woman in her first pregnancy.

For Zoe, those issues pale into insignificance in the overriding obstacle dominating her thoughts about the whole darned thing. Gestation is okay. Birthing is okay. But Zoe just doesn’t want to be a mum.

Rose Matafeo plays Zoe with deft comic skill. Matthew Lewis is stoic throughout. The end is predictable. But as Zoe’s determined obstructionism builds, this mere male’s mind found itself wishing that somebody would confront the irritation and frustration that had been building since the film began. Which, in a perverse way, is a measure of its effectiveness!

At all cinemas

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"Baby Done" (PG) ***
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Dougal Macdonald
“CityNews” film reviewer

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