A MOUTHFUL OF AIR
(director/writer: Amy Koppelman; screenwriter: novel by Koppelman; cinematographer: Frank G. DeMarco; editor: Keith Fraase; music: John Gürtler/Jan Miserre; cast: Jennifer Carpenter (Lucy), Amanda Seyfried (Julie Davis), Britt Robertson (Rachel Davis), Finn Whitrock (Ethan Davis), Michael Gaston (Ron), Paul Giamatti (Dr. Sylvester, therapist), Ami Irving (Bobbi Davis), Adam Garcia (Little Boy), Olivia Katz (Teddy at 9 months), Christian Kutz (Teddy at 9 months), John Herrera (Hector, maintenance man), Josh Hamilton (Dr. Saltzman); Runtime: 105; MPAA Rating: R; producers; Mike Harrop, Amy Koppelman, Amanda Seyfried, Celine Rattray, Trudie Styler: Stage 6 Films/A Sony Pictures Classic release; 2021)
“A grim tale that brought me no enlightenment or joy, but at least left me understanding better how postpartum depression effects women.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A faltering drama about mental health issues for women such as depression. It’s directed and written by first time feature film director Amy Koppelman, and is based on her novel of the same name. It’s a grim tale that brought me no enlightenment or joy, but at least left me understanding better how postpartum depression effects women.
The slow-paced tearjerker drama has Julie Davis (Amanda Seyfried), a children’s author and artist, as an affluent and pampered young mother of baby Teddy, happily married to the supportive Ethan (Finn Whitrock), residing in the 1990s in Manhattan. She is suffering from postpartum depression.When overcome with depression, one day she slits her wrists and ends up taken by ambulance to the hospital.
Her slow rehabilitation follows along with her ongoing anxieties. The troubled mother frets over nothings (such as grocery shopping for the right brand) and of having a second child, possibly relocating to the suburbs and dealing with her psychotherapist (Paul Giamatti).
I get the suffering, but it feels as if we’re never moving past covering surface psychological material and the author probably didn’t get on film enough of the material she had in the book. Maybe the thoughtful film would have worked better with a Hollywood filmmaker directing.
REVIEWED ON 1/9/2022 GRADE: C+