Marianna Palka (2019)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Films adapted from stage plays are easy to spot: a single-room set, limited cast and shortish running time heaped with sculpted dialogue. Though Motherhood - a comedy of manners directed by expat Glaswegian Marianna Palka - ticks all those boxes, it was written for the screen by Risa Mickenberg. Originally titled Egg, the film's conflict erupts over the twin approaches to modern pregnancy by art-school friends, who awkwardly reunite one summer's evening in gentrified New Rochelle, New York: radiantly huge, eight-months-pregnant Karen (Christina Hendricks) and rake-thin, reproductively squeamish pseud Tina (Alysia Reiner), who's renting the womb of a guileless surrogate (Anna Camp) with her "woke" African-American partner Wayne (Gbenga Akinnagbe). These middle-class "pregnancy-safe cheeses" seem designed to annoy Karen's cynical realtor husband (David Alan Basche), who cares only for the ballgame he's missing due to Tina and Wayne's holier-than-thou lack of TV. Mickenberg's dialogue is sharp and provocative - "We were both there when they introduced the zygote." "It must've been a precious moment" - and Camp's arrival throws a surprise spanner into the works. You may experience flashbacks to Roman Polanski's Carnage, adapted from a Yazmina Reza play, in which self-satisfied couples do come physically to blows.


Premiere. Over the course of one evening, conceptual artist Tina introduces her eight-month pregnant art school rival Karen to her non-traditional surrogate Kiki. Between them they must face the complications of bringing new life into the world. Director Marianna Palka's comedy, starring Christina Hendricks and Alysia Reiner.

Cast & Crew

Karen Christina Hendricks
Tina Alysia Reiner
Don David Alan Basche
Kiki Anna Camp
Wayne Gbenga Akinnagbe
Director Marianna Palka
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourGuidance: SwearingAvailable on: DVD