Nasty Baby

Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Silva is well versed in the easy indolence and fragile well-being of the upper-middle class: his acclaimed 2009 drama The Maid slyly satirized a rich family’s emotional exploitation of their longtime domestic servant, and this U.S. production unfolds among the comfortable bohemians of Fort Greene, Brooklyn. The main story line involves a hotheaded artist (Silva) and his gay lover (Tunde Adebimpe) trying to conceive a baby through in vitro fertilization of their goofy doctor pal (Kristen Wiig). But an escalating feud between the artist and a mentally ill neighbor living in a basement apartment (Reg E. Cathey) eventually takes over the narrative, belatedly raising some of the same class issues that made Silva’s earlier movie so intriguing. An awkward scene between the artist and a local gallery director (Neal Huff) highlights Silva’s fluency in the rituals of social superiority.