This Little Life (UK; 80 min.)

directed by: Sarah Gavron
starring: Kate Ashfield; David Morrissey; Peter Mullan; Linda Bassett
This Little Life
Chris says: "Honest and sad little British film about a couple that give birth to a prematurely born baby. Like LILJA 4-EVER (only gentler), it’s not an easy one to watch, but you will get so caught up in the tiny details and struggles the characters endure that you’ll have no difficulty making it to the challenging but graceful conclusion."
Michael says: "It makes me a little sad that very few Chlotrudis members will get to see this film (unless, perhaps, it gets nominated for the Buried Treasure...)

This terrific little British film was praised by Ned and Ivy (who saw it in Toronto). After a brief run at the Harvard Film Archive, I did get a chance to see it, and I'm so glad that I did. Director Sarah Gavron was inspired to make this film after reading a book written by the woman upon whom the principal character is based. Sadie and Richie MacGregor are happy newlyweds expecting a child. When their son is born dangerously premature (just under 6 months) their doctor (Peter Mullan - THE CLAIM) warns them that the chances of his survival are slim indeed. While Richie balks at the idea of extending the painfully difficult life of their son needlessly, Sadie's quiet insistence that he be given a chance wins out.

What follows is a fascinating story of a mother and child bonding even as the latter struggle to survive. Gavron is a masterful storyteller, slowly nurturing the arc of the plot while making unexpected twists that startle the viewer. Characters react realistically, and events play out like life. Quite a feat for a first-time feature director.

Look for THIS LITTLE LIFE on my nomination ballot!" 4 1/2 cats