Easily standing on top of a tall tree, playfully swinging a chainsaw in one hand, Zoe (Rose Matafeo) looks effortlessly cool – and clearly fearless. As she banters with two male colleagues, whose expressions are one of horror from the safety of the ground – it becomes clear that her position is one of leadership in a trade commonly dominated by men: professional arboriculture.

At a state of limbo between the benders of youth and commitments of adulthood, Zoe can’t quite place herself. When she falls pregnant to boyfriend Tim (Matthew Lewis), the arborist jumps head-first into a makeshift bucket list consisting of edgy-sounding to-dos. Naturally charming, comedian Rose Matafeo easily navigates the highs and lows of Zoe’s predicament. Matafeo is especially great when sharing the screen with equally talented Emily Barclay – a grand casting choice.

The dynamic between restless Zoe and sensitive, down-to-earth Tim is undoubtedly endearing, but it is the struggle between the young woman and the notion of motherhood that properly fuels Baby Done. As the people surrounding Zoe grow overtly concerned over her behaviour, the more she feels the need to rebel and, as she does so, the more slippery the story begins to feel. Luckily, its candidness towards the arborist’s difficulties on her journey to becoming a mother ends up rounding the sharp edges of the script. Here, there is no loving nesting period – pregnancy is nothing but a ticking clock.

With a distinctive Waititi touch (the director is one of the film’s executive producers), Baby Done does precisely what it sets out to do and it does it well – no gimmicks or baits. A simple yet effective portrait of contemporary parenthood, this Kiwi comedy is as fun as it is honest. And a dose of Rachel House, albeit quite small, is always very welcome.  



CAST: Rose Matafeo, Matthew Lewis, Emily Barclay, Rachel House

DIRECTOR: Curtis Vowell

WRITER: Sophie Henderson

SYNOPSIS: Wannabe-adventurer Zoe freaks out when she falls pregnant to her long-term boyfriend Tim. As Tim embraces the prospect of fatherhood, Zoe attempts to rush through her dreams.