SHIVA BABY (2020) Reviews and release news

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Shiva Baby is a 2020 American dark comedy film about a college student who runs into her sugar daddy at a Jewish funeral with her parents.

Written and directed by Emma Seligman, the movie stars Rachel Sennott, Molly Gordon, Diana Agron, Danny Deferrari, Polly Draper and Fred Melamed. Produced by Kieran Altmann, Katie Schiller, Lizzie Shapiro.


A near college graduate, Danielle, gets paid by her sugar daddy and rushes to meet her neurotic parents at a family shiva. Upon arrival, she is accosted by various estranged relatives about her appearance and lack of post-grad plans, while her confident ex-girlfriend, Maya, is applauded by everyone for getting into law school.

Danielle’s day takes an unexpected turn when her sugar daddy, Max, arrives at the shiva with his accomplished wife, Kim, and crying baby. As the day unfolds, Danielle struggles to keep up with different versions of herself, fend off pressures from her family and confront her insecurities without completely losing it…

Release date:

In the USA, Utopia releases Shiva Baby theatrically on April 1st 2021.


“When Selgman writes about family, she writes about obligation, comfort, ritual, values, pride, disappointment, and perhaps most of all, steadfastness. Which in fact is not so universal after all. Danielle may endure quite a bit at the hands of her family, but at the end of the day, blood is thicker than coffee stains.” @ssholes Watching Movies

” …Emma Seligman is in control of her craft. She holds back on the philosophy to focus on the absurdity of these situations, bringing out humor in them and refusing to deviate from her original concept, only improving on it with colorful characters and a colorful cast. Shiva Baby can be deemed a tragicomedy, a suspenseful ride, or just a devilish comedy, but what most agree on is that it is one of this year’s best indies.” Loud and Clear

“Despite its tight confines, Seligman packs so many awkward interactions into Shiva Baby that it never feels like it runs out of comic potential. Sennott’s performance is equally impressive, balancing the many frustrations and pressures of making her parents proud but wanting to stand up for herself.”

Shiva Baby feels like one of the rare comedies that is secretly a horror film. Every moment is an overwhelming barrage on the senses, so painfully awkward that it takes cringe comedy to a ghoulish extreme. Unconventional in approach and refreshingly slight in runtime, director Emma Seligman’s Shiva Baby is an ode to all of our messiest friends, pushing the boundaries of what a female-centered comedy can look like.” We Live Entertainment

Choice dialogue:

Debbie [Polly Draper]: “You look like Gwyneth Paltrow on food stamps. And not in a good way.”

Cast and characters:

Rachel Sennott … Danielle
Molly Gordon … Maya
Polly Draper … Debbie
Danny Deferrari … Max
Fred Melamed … Joel
Dianna Agron … Kim
Jackie Hoffman … Susan
Sondra James … Maureen
Deborah Offner … Ellie
Vivien Landau … Roz
Glynis Bell … Katherine
Cilda Shaur … Sheila
Ariel Eliaz … Rabbi

Technical details:

77 minutes


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