Objects on the screen are not as horrible as they imply. Bess Wohl, the American screenwriter well-known for her movies like “Irreplaceable”, “Must Love” and so on, has helmed “Baby Ruby,” which had a screening at the Toronto International Film Festival. The plot revolves around an organized woman who faces postpartum symptoms after she becomes a mother. Her flawless lifestyle begins to deteriorate into a disaster as she experiences compelling vision attacks and mental outbreaks, each of which is associated with her baby. The on-screen loving couple are being played by Noémie Merlant (“Portrait of a Lady on Fire”) and Kit Harington (“Modern Love”). Reed Birney (“Gossip Girl”) plays the role of a gynecologist as Dr. Rosenbaum. The cast also includes Jayne Atkinson, Lauren Beveridge, Camila Canó-Flaviá, and a few others. The 93 minutes are an absolute cliffhanger, produced by Point Productions and Saks Picture Company.
Aside from its unsettling horror elements, Jo’s character portrays that raising a newborn baby is not a pastime; rather, it is a blessing and a test of patience for every mother, which society barely speaks of.
Noémie Merlant As Jo
Jo, the protagonist of the psychological thriller, is a successful influencer and lifestyle blogger who runs her own site titled “Love, Josephine.” In the opening scene, Jo is a self-confessed perfectionist in every sense, whether it’s fashion or planning all the decorations for her DIY baby shower. She whines over the knickknacks and exact closeups of the cake arrangement until it looks photogenic. Her friends and coworkers appreciate her dedication to the work and her writeups while carrying a baby in her womb. Once her exquisite cheese soufflé pancake recipe went viral over the internet, Jo is living the best time of her life as social media gives her complete control over how she represents her life to the world. With all these, she is an excited mother-to-be who has already groomed a wardrobe for Ruby with toys, cute clothes, and cradles. She makes her blogs absolutely picture-perfect with enticingly shareable content and, of course, through her words. It is clear that, being a French girl, she has a distaste for the typical American concept of welcoming the baby, as she puts it in the caption. But her handpicked lifestyle begins to fall apart at the point in time when Ruby arrives. From her blood-wrenched underwear to painful bowel movements, the post-pregnancy body appearances and upshots affect her both physically and mentally. After all the restless movements, sleepless nights, and endless cries of Ruby, Jo becomes extremely paranoid and starts questioning her motherhood. Jo tries to conjure up comforting techniques for her colicky baby; she oscillates between the insatiable desire to protect the little one and the uneasy adrenaline rush of resenting her baby. The maternal anxieties started escalating, resulting in full-fledged paranoia, including drastic changes in mood, abrupt hallucinations, delusions, irritability, cognitive distortions, whispers, and disorganized behavior. Jo thinks that her infant is the villain in her story, so she screams that she would not let Ruby win. The lead actress gets tired of the constant cries and leaves for the mom’s party, where she sleeps inside her car due to a hangover. She dreamed of a pleasant maternity experience, but it led to such a traumatic experience that she didn’t share the pictures of her baby on her blog. Joe’s unending fear of her own child brings her to the hospital, where she gets diagnosed and treated. In the last scene, she hears Ruby fussing while her husband is in deep sleep; she wakes up and firmly uplifts her beloved baby which finally leads to acceptance and adoration.
Kit Harington As Spencer
The character of Spencer is portrayed by “Game of Thrones” actor Kit Harington, the husband of Jo. Spencer is an artisanal butcher and owns his own slaughterhouse. In the beginning, he is undoubtedly a loving and supportive husband. The couple stays in a picturesque designer country house ringed by pine greenery. Spencer brings Josephine back home after the delivery of their baby Ruby but doesn’t give much attention to the day-and-night efforts made by his wife. He effortlessly tries to understand why Jo is becoming so vulnerable but fails to do so. The confused character of Spencer is not so relevant, but his concerns remain the same for his wife throughout the movie. As a father, he follows the duties only when it is convenient for him, not the other way around. This is a common scenario in each household, or is it the patriarchal system that forbids the men to handle responsibilities?
Jayne Atkinson As Doris
Jayne Atkinson, famous for her roles in “House of Cards,” “Parenthood,” “Criminal Minds,” etc., has played the role of Jo’s mother-in-law (Doris) in “Baby Ruby.” It seems that Jo doesn’t like her much, but she does her best as a cool grandmother. From offering magic bites to appreciating Bolognese, it sounds like she is a true food enthusiast. Jo, after giving up most of her energy, seeks suggestions from Doris, but Doris scares her even more by telling her how her son Spencer was a bawler in early childhood and that she took out the kitchen knife one day with the intent to kill him. If you see through the eyes of Jo, the middle-aged lady would strike the audience as a witch or a strategic woman.
Meredith Hagner As Shelly
The protagonist encounters a strange interaction with Shelly, who lives in the neighborhood and has given birth to a child, and quickly becomes a friend of Jo. Shelly depicts an image of a perfect caregiver and a blessed mother. But the weird behavior in the first half made Jo think that Shelly might cause harm to Ruby. Jo visualizes sitting in a car where Shelly is throwing a baby on her face, or maybe she is trying to snatch Ruby. Along with that, there will be an intense moment between Jo and Shelly where they are making out after boozing all night—that is the only thing Shelly was afraid of her husband getting to know.
Reality is more dreadful than any horror film. How could a baby harbor ill will towards someone, particularly her mother? The doubt overpowers Jo’s thoughts, and it grows more crucial as the toddler’s whines become displeasing. Ruby bites her mother so hard while breastfeeding that she starts bleeding. The newborn rips up Jo’s earrings, which triggers her aches. No “Fais-do-do” lullaby could stop the violent gestures of Ruby; rather, it shatters all the motherhood expectations Jo had weaved. With a pastel aesthetic, brutalizing honesty, and superb filming, the psychological thriller “Baby Ruby” highlights the unsaid and genuine truths of parenthood.
See more: ‘Kaapa’ Cast And Character Guide: Everything You Need To Know About The Characters