Aaron (Sullivan Jones), Jess (Jasmine Batchelor) and Josh (Chris Perfetti) have just learned that the baby gate is Down’s syndrome.
June 18, 2020
Updated on June 19, 2020 at 4h16
The Surrogate: It is the warden or not? *** 1/2
CRITIQUE / What would you do if your unborn baby was affected by Down’s syndrome (trisomy 21) ? It is the delicate question that explores with great skill and aplomb Jeremy Hersh in The Surrogate, a superb drama naturalist, who is not judging and leaves the spectator to confront himself with his own thoughts (or biases, depending on circumstances).
Hersh is a date entered in a community centre that brings together parents and children born with Down syndrome. This was the trigger. But it is also inspired by his reality of a homosexual white — and so, in part, privileged — to examine the issue from a different angle.
He thought of a couple biracial formed of Aaron (Sullivan Jones) and Josh (Chris Perfetti). Jess (Jasmine Batchelor), the best friend of the latter, is delighted to act as a surrogate mother. Without any compensation. By greatness of soul.
Until that falls, in the 13th week, the verdict of prenatal testing. The trio is aghast. We will keep it or not ? Such a decision should not be taken lightly. As Josh has grown up with a child with down’s syndrome in his entourage, who has since died. Man sensitive — her husband Aaron, a lawyer, is more cerebral — he is afraid obviously to relive the same situation.
As the couple begins to verbalize his misgivings, Jess, who works for an NGO, feels more and more a mission. The young woman, looking everywhere around her approval, and left to raise the baby…
For a first feature film, the director new york has made a film that evokes a cross between the world of Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) and the movement mumblecore, in particular for his use of dialogues in part improvised in long shots that allow time for scenes to develop and live a life of its own.
The Surrogate deals with the subject covering all the angles : social-economic, philosophical, ethical (Jess speaks of it by two times the question of eugenics)…
And the more the story advances, the more the viewer feels caught up and “forced”, somehow, to take a position in a debate where there is absolutely no right or wrong answer. Indeed, it is fascinating to see our point of view fluctuate according to the arguments which are brought, from both sides.