Review: ‘Baby Blues’

A Polish teen tries to balance having the adolescence of a lifetime with looking after her tiny tot in director Katarzyna Roslaniec's "Baby Blues."

A Polish teen tries to balance having the adolescence of a lifetime with looking after her tiny tot in director Katarzyna Roslaniec’s “Baby Blues.” Like her debut, “Mall Girls,” this is a worrying, candy-colored snapshot of reckless minors in a post-communist country in tailspin, with the lifelike dialogue and situations oddly contrasting with the pic’s almost maniacal attention to costumes, which are more carefully designed than a Lady Gaga appearance. Fests won’t feel blue showcasing this, though smallscreen exposure will eclipse theatrical offshore.

Seventeen-year-old Natalia (Magdalena Berus), whose own young mother (Magdalena Boczarska) disappears early on, tries to raise 7-month-old Antek (Miklaj and Dominik Lubek) with an occasional assist from their skater dad, Kuba (Nikodem Rozbicki). Yet the teens’ short attention spans and egocentric interests (videogames, drugs, alcohol) are hardly compatible with child rearing. While more realistically staged than post-pinko, nihilist/consumerist fantasies such as “Snow White and Russian Red,” the pic undermines its verite grit by hyperstylizing the duds of not only the girls, but also the boys, who look but don’t act like they’re on “Project Runway.” Thesping from young non-pros is pleasingly raw, the final scene positively spine-chilling.

Baby Blues



A Kino Swiat release of a Mental Disorder 4 presentation and production, in association with Zentropa Intl. Poland, Telekomunikacje Polska, Warszawa Powisle Czesc Grupy Warszawa. Produced by Agnieszka Kurzydlo. Co-producers, Peter Garde, Norbert Redie, Bartlomiej Kraciuk. Directed, written by Katarzyna Roslaniec.


Camera (color, HD), Jens Ramborg; editors, Bartosz Pietras, Jacek Drosio; production designer, Lise Christensen; costume designer, Matylda Roslaniec; sound, Kacper Habisiak, Marcin Kasinski; line producer, Inga Kruk; casting, Marek Palka. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Contemporary World Cinema), Sept. 13, 2012. Running time: 103 MIN.


Magdalena Berus, Klaudia Bulka, Nikodem Rozbicki, Michal Treciakowski, Miklaj Lubek, Dominik Lubek, Magdalena Boczarska, Renata Dancewicz, Katarzyna Figura.

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