Ostensibly the story of a relationship between a nanny and the 6-yr-old girl she’s looking after, Alex Thompson’s Saint Francesmixes drama and comedy around themes of pregnancy, loss, and parenthood. Exploding with empathy and emotional openness, the script was written by Kelly O’Sullivan who also stars as Bridget, a Chicago girl in her early thirties who hasn’t yet figured herself out. What Saint Frances does with its conventional set-up is a testament to how original normality can feel, and the film doesn’t shy away from a simultaneously direct and idealized depiction of bodies, vulnerability and cluelessness.
I sat down with both the director and the writer/star at the American Film Festival in Wroclaw, exploring the importance of representation and how to do storytelling differently and still be true to the emotions of everyday life.
A freelance film critic and programmer, Tommaso Tocci is based between Paris and Rome. He covers the European festival circuit and he's a member of FIPRESCI and the International Cinephile Society. His Top 3 for 2021: After Blue (Bertrand Mandico), Titane (Julia Ducournau), What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? (Alexandre Koberidze).