Baby Girl Scott - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Baby Girl Scott Reviews

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½ February 8, 2010
This is still a relevant film eighteen years after it was made, looking at the conflicting perspectives and rights of parents versus medics over a premature baby with realistically no hope of survival except as a profoundly disabled child. The insensitivity of the medics is more than symbolised in their inability to ever personalise or refer to the baby by her name rather than 'your daughter' or 'your baby', while landing the parents in debt they have no hope of repaying for treatment they have come to see as torture instead of care. There is some sensitive exploration too of the parents' right to choose when becoming parents of a profoundly disabled child.

As I searched everywhere online for the ending of this story without finding it and I LIKE knowing what's ahead sometimes, I'll include it here. When the medics finally admit the baby is dying beyond their ability to ventilate any longer, they ask the parents to sign forms allowing the doctors to withdraw treatment. Up to this point the doctors have been denying the parents' right to withdraw their consent to any treatment, including surgery without anaesthesia, which is one of the hardest parts of the movie to watch. The parents are allowed to take baby Katie home to die, and the film ends with the parents in the newly decorated nursery, rocking her as a musical box slowly winds down, playing the Mozart tune that has been a reoccuring theme through the movie.

An interesting plot, well acted by John Lithgow and Mary Beth Hurt, but only touching on some themes that could have been further developed, and the film depersonalises the baby along with the hospital staff, which decreases the impact. The ending too I felt was slightly a cop out. One of the most well planned parts of the film was the vague and distant views of the baby until the mother first saw her, and by being confronted only then by the tiny body distorted by tubes, being harshly pumped by a ventilator, the viewer really shares in her shock.

Definitely a movie worth watching once.
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