An emotionally stunted ex-convict whose recent release from prison finds her attempting to form a relationship with her young daughter finds that redemption doesn't come easy in this emotional family drama, the feature debut of award-winning documentary filmmaker Laurie Collyer. When Sherry Swanson (Maggie Gyllenhaal) was sentenced to three years in prison on a drug-related robbery conviction at the age of 22, she had just given birth to a daughter named Alexis (Ryan Simpkins). Placed in the care of Sherry's brother, Bobby (Brad William Henke), and sister-in-law, Lynette (Bridget Barkan), while her mother was behind bars, young Alexis has grown into an affectionate young girl eager to reconnect with the mother she has never met. Though Sherry at first seems determined to stay on the straight and narrow, increasingly infrequent visits to Alexis and a troubling revelation about her family past soon begin to lead the protective Lynette to take a stand in protecting the vulnerable youngster. Later, when compassionate 12-step veteran Dean (Danny Trejo) makes an effort to help Sherry become the mother she longs to be, the troubled ex-con is faced with the choice of truly living up to her word or potentially losing her daughter forever.
Disc #1 -- Sherrybaby 1. Second Chance [12:53] 2. Where Were You? [6:21] 3. Give Me the Strength [8:03] 4. Real Life [8:09] 5. Family Dinner [10:39] 6. Dean [4:35] 7. New Job [8:35] 8. Happy Birthday [6:25] 9. Dirty [10:00] 10. Day Trip [12:23] 11. I Never Asked [3:35] 12. End Credits [2:57]
SherryBaby 3.3 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
"Saggy" Gyllenhaal stars in this overwrought piece of garbage that will most likely rear its ugly head on 1. Oxygen or 2. Lifetime. If you need an excuse to clean your apt./house or finish up some unwanted project that you find yourself continually put off, pop in this snoozer, grab a swiffer or broom and go to town.
More than 1 year ago
Laurie Collyer both wrote and directed this very fine little film that examines the world in which addicted people live, even after they have 'paid their debt to society' by being imprisoned. She does not play to the sympathy of the audience: she rather empathizes with one woman's plight in her struggle to gain control of a life she has never been able to successfully assemble. Sherry Swanson (a brilliant tour de force by Maggie Gyllenhaal) has been in prison for robbery, drug possession and heroin addiction for several years and as the film opens she is released to her hometown in New Jersey where she is assigned a parole officer (Giancarlo Esposito) and a 'safe haven' home. She longs to see her five-year-old daughter Alexis (Ryan Simpkins) whom she barely knows and who has been living with her brother Bobby (the excellent Brad William Henke) and his wife Lynette (Bridget Barkan). After encountering much prejudice and abuse heaped on ex-cons looking for work, Sherry manages to find a job working with kids and tries desperately to re-connect with Alexis but is rebuffed by Lynette and warned by Bobby that should she bring drugs in the house he will send her back to prison. Sherry stumbles through her out-of-prison existence, connecting with old friends at an AA meeting, having a fling with her old flame Dean (Danny Trejo), attending a birthday party for Alexis given at her parents home where her father (Sam Bottoms) comforts her in a sexually intrusive way, and struggling with her roommates until she moves out on her own. She aches from not belonging, from the fact that her life on the 'outside' is as much a prison as on the 'inside', and she returns to drugs. Given an ultimatum by her parole officer she finally thinks she can put her life back together, but a planned outing with daughter Alexis forces Sherry to face the fact that she is not capable of the skills of mothering and she is able finally to ask for help from her caring brother. Maggie Gyllenhaal is Sherry with every fiber of her being. It is a performance worthy of top honors. The beauty of the film is the fact that it does not opt for Hollywood happy endings: it merely stops with many questions unanswered - as is the case in life with people who suffer the agonies of addiction. It is beautifully acted and filmed and it deserves the attention of not only lovers of fine film, but also people who want to try to understand the horrors of drug addiction in a society unprepared to cope with it. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp