Everything Put Together

2001, Movie, NR, 87 mins


A deeply unsettling portrait of an awful tragedy and its terrible aftermath from director Marc Forster. For Angie (Radha Mitchell) and her husband Russ (Justin Louis), life seems to be going according to plan. They live in a spacious home in an upscale neighborhood, they have plenty of friends and they're expecting their very first child. And no sooner are the finishing touches put on the nursery than Angie goes into labor and gives birth to a healthy, eight-pound baby boy. Then it all falls apart. The following day, Angie's doctor (Matt Malloy) arrives with devastating news. Earlier that afternoon, their baby's heart simply stopped. The culprit: that mysterious killer, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Grief-stricken, Angie and Russ return home to a house that suddenly seems antiseptic and empty, and their marriage quickly freezes over. Not knowing what to say, Angie's fair-weather friends (including co-screenwriter Catherine Lloyd Burns, and Will and Grace's Megan Mullally), all of whom are either pregnant or new mothers themselves, say nothing and avoid her like the plague. Russ wants to make funeral arrangements but Angie only wants to know why her baby died, and her behavior grows frighteningly erratic. Much of the film, which was shot entirely on digital video in just two weeks, has all the uncomfortable intimacy of a stranger's home movies; the rest, appropriately enough, has the look and feel of a nightmare. It's probably the best use of the DV medium in a feature film since Thomas Vinterberg's groundbreaking Dogme95 film, THE CELEBRATION, but in the end it all comes down to Mitchell. She turns in a truly harrowing performance that will leave you shaking. leave a comment --Ken Fox

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