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Feb 16, 2007

Fletch's Video Miniview: SherryBaby

Do you have (or are you) a black sheep in your immediate or extended family? If so, has this person had problems with drugs and/or alcohol? If so, does this person have any children?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then SherryBaby will seem awfully familiar to you (and/or them). The plot is pretty straightforward: Sherry (Maggie Gyllenhaal) has just been released from prison. We catch up with her as she's on her way to a halfway house. She's in good spirits and is attempting to reboot her life. Sherry has a young daughter who's being raised by her brother and his wife (and raised well), but she wants nothing more to get back on her feet and get her daughter in her life. It won't be easy.

Along with the normal problems that any parolee may face, Sherry has a few other things on her plate. She's a recovering drug addict, and she's got some bad history within her family. Getting a job isn't easy, either, and the depths she goes to in order to do the work she wants (with children) are hard to watch.

Though SherryBaby could have easily become a Lifetime Movie of the Week, it rises above that status, mostly due to Gyllenhaal's performance. It's cliched, but she gives a raw, bare naked performance, shedding any inhibitions for herself and her character along the way (read into that what you will). She also likes to wear yellow tank tops.

Also featured in the film is Danny Trejo (From Dusk Till Dawn, Desperado, Con Air), and it's nice to see him not playing a gangster of some sort for once. Though he does play a recovering addict as well, he shows a softer side I've not seen from him before. I'd like to see more serious roles from him in the future.

Though not great, the SherryBaby is worth a look on video, for no other reason than for Gyllenhaal's performance. There aren't many surprises to this modest film, but if your expectations are low, you'll come away pleasantly surprised.

74 out of 100

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