Archives / 2001 Sundance Film Festival

Nobody's Baby

Director: David Seltzer

Screenwriters: David Seltzer

Institute History

  • 2001 Sundance Film Festival

Description

Independent feature comedies have a well-deserved reputation for quirkiness, utilizing wit rather than slapstick, and broaching subjects that more mainstream work prefers to avoid. But to be frank, first-rate amusement knows no boundaries, and director/screenwriter David Seltzer displays a mastery of comic sensibilities that make Nobody's Baby a pure delight from start to finish.

Nobody's Baby tells the story of two hopelessly dim drifters with lifelong histories of trouble who usually end up in the slammer. Both facing a 10-year sentence, they manage to escape from a prison van and split up with plans to rendezvous down the road. Billy (Skeet Ulrich) hitches a ride and witnesses—actually is partly responsible for—an accident in which the only survivor is a months-old baby. Clueless about caring for an infant, he elicits aid at a broken-down trailer park, where the inhabitants—a casino croupier who recently gave up her own baby for adoption, a leggy chorine and her aged Native American boyfriend, and a vulnerable young waitress—take him and the baby in. But when Buford (Gary Oldman) finally arrives on the scene and learns the baby may attract ransom, craziness ensues . . .

If you were impressed watching Oldman play a congressman, wait until you see him do comedy and line dance! With terrific turns by Mary Steenburgen and Radha Mitchell, Utah scenery, hilarious dialogue, and the best joke in a film this side of Something about Mary, Nobody's Baby is a wonderfully entertaining odyssey that should bring Seltzer nothing but accolades.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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