Kindling

After Alexia suffers a miscarriage, she and her partner Kat become distant until they come across an abandoned baby in the woods.

Genre: Drama

Length: 09:19

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Producer/s : Stephanie Spencer,

Director/s : Molly Beresford, 

Writer/s : Molly Beresford, 

Actor/s : Kate Malyon, Aoife Smyth

 

Baby in the woods

The necessary backstory to this drama is shown with an assured hand. A collage, a minute or so long, shows the positive pregnancy test, the women hugging, painting a colourful cot out in a sunny garden… then the miscarriage, putting away the baby clothes they’ve bought… and the distance that forms between them.

Written before The Light Between Oceans came out, it shares the same premise, as the couple’s sadness is punctuated when they find a baby abandoned in some woods. Kat is the practical one, and we see her worry as soon as Alexia picks the baby up. We know why she insists that Alex hands her the little girl, and tells her to call the police. We know that Alex is lying, and why, when she says there’s no signal.

Little touches lift the film, such as the lady dog-walker who assumes the baby is theirs. And the baby’s magical and irresistible smile at Alexia – how many takes before that smile came, one wonders, how many prayers offered up that it was in perfect focus?

They have all the baby kit at home. But of course they can’t keep her. Can they? Not even for a few hours?

Poignant humour (“she’s got your nose”) sweetens the hints of a deeper tragedy. After miscarrying, Alexia maybe can’t bear children now, and Kat won’t.

Acting and direction are understated throughout, setting an appropriately melancholy tone. There’s no (melo-) dramatic redemptive ending, just a sense that the relationship has been deepened by this. Maybe Alexia and Kat will try for a baby again, maybe they won’t, but they do now know they are strong enough to survive together.

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