Director: Kevin Bacon

Hannah Shakespeare’s trenchant and unyielding screenplay adaptation of Victoria Redel’s difficult novel about motherly obsession is brought vividly to life by Kyra Sedgwick’s tour-de-force performance in this film, directed by husband Kevin Bacon. Complex and emotionally searing, Loverboy never lets viewers off the hook as we’re sucked right into the claustrophobic world led by Emily, a determined free-spirited, brainy feminist (Sedgwick) who after being left a lofty sum by her otherwise dysfunctional and neglectful parents (Marisa Tomei and Kevin Bacon), makes it her ambition in life to bear a child. After experimenting with various approaches to fertility from test tubes to one-night-stands, Emily births a son named Paul whom she selfishly smothers and nicknames Loverboy. As the child ages and begins to desire friends his own age and a school-based education, she feels her grasp loosening and overreacts, trying desperately to tighten their bond. Sedgwick is amazingly ferocious in her performance—understated, terrifying, empathetic, and sensual—she attacks this character with complete conviction. The performances by costars Campbell Scott, Matt Dillon, Sandra Bullock and Oliver Platt all shine even brighter in her presence. Still, aside from a must-see for actors, the film is deeply upsetting—not one to recommend to new or expecting mothers or one to view right before bed.