Director: Laurie Collyer
Screenwriters: Laurie Collyer


Sometimes life gets in the way of your best intentions. Even if you have everything going for you, an emotional wound from childhood can reemerge as a monster in your adult life and swallow you whole. Director Laurie Collyer returns to Sundance (her documentary Nuyorican Dream played in the 2000 Festival) with Sherrybaby, an emotionally powerful dramatic debut about a young woman struggling to keep her life on the right track—but she doesn't really know how.

Sherry Swanson is recently released from prison and dreams of getting a job, settling down, and being a mother to her five-year-old daughter. Big problems arise when she realizes her brother and his wife are invested in raising the child themselves. The constricting realities of unemployment and parole complicate things even more. Sherry is determined to weather the storm that has developed in her life, but she must first find a way to overcome a demon in her closet that holds her hostage emotionally.

Collyer's sharply observed characters are brought to indelible life by all-around strong performances, led by Maggie Gyllenhaal's deeply inhabited Sherry. Sherrybaby is an intensely compelling experience and marks an exciting directorial debut.

— Shari Frilot

Screening Details

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