SFFL 2017: Bitch
Director: Marianna Palka.
Starring: Jason Ritter, Jaime King, Marianna Palka, Brighton Sharbino, Rio Mangini, Kingston Foster. USA 2017. 93 mins.
Jill, a lonely, distraught housewife with four unruly children, paces on her dining room table with a belt around her neck, contemplating a desperate end to her wretchedness. Her husband, Bill, focused on his identity as breadwinner and an affair with a co-worker, is oblivious both to Jill’s growing terror that she will do something destructive and to the panic at his unraveling company. Meanwhile, dogs bark and howl through the night, as one persistent mutt continually stalks the family’s yard. When Jill’s psyche finally breaks, she takes on a vicious new canine persona.
Marianna Palka (Good Dick) writes, directs, and stars in this provocative film, balancing a whip-smart, deeply unsettling take on the horrors of a crumbling family with a palpable sensitivity for her character’s plight and perfectly timed comedic flourishes. Jason Ritter delivers a beautifully tragicomic performance as Bill, who’s transformed by bizarre crisis from an indifferent hound of a man untethered from his family to their unexpected emotional anchor.
“Palka transforms an absurd premise into a chilling look at the destruction of the nuclear family with a vivid, snarling vision driven by the propulsive energy of its biting critique.” - Indiewire