CHERRY (Tribeca 2022) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

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Roller skating through her life as she drifts from a crappy job to a crappy relationship, the world of adulthood feels a million miles away for Cherry (Alex Trewhitt). The surprise discovery that she is pregnant, however – and has only days to decide whether to terminate or to proceed into a life of motherhood – brings the nuts-and-bolts reality of being a grown-up thundering home, and fast. With little support from her loser boyfriend, a complicated relationship with her mother and sister and a pattern of seemingly vaguing out on her close women friends, Cherry realizes the support network she took for granted was perhaps not as solid as she had assumed.

Following its eponymous protagonist across a weekend as a major life decision is made, Trewhitt’s powerful but never overcooked performance as Cherry not just carries the film, but renders a character we might in other circumstances be far too quick to judge as instead someone likeable and sympathetic. Clearly working closely with co-writer and director Sophie Galibert, between them these two women present a poignant, often funny and always emotionally intelligent portrait of a young woman faced with a whole lot of life stuff in a very short period of time.

Perhaps most impressive is just how much energy Cherry belts along with; there’s hardly time to catch one’s breath before the film’s final credits role, and the vibrancy, energy and color that define Cherry herself mark the film itself, too, both in terms of its charming visual style, and also its sheer vibe. Smart, sassy and never dumbing down the seriousness of its title character’s predicament as she faces the reality of an unwanted pregnancy, Cherry is a delight.

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Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Alexandra Heller-Nicholas is a multi award-winning film critic from Melbourne, Australia. She was an editor at Senses of Cinema from 2015 to 2018, and is a Rotten Tomatoes approved critic for ABC Radio in Australia, She has written for Film International, Diabolique Magazine, Vulture, Overland, The Big Issue and her own website, The Blue Lenses. She has written eight books on cult, horror and exploitation cinema and co-edited collections on Elaine May, Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, Peter Strickland, and Alice in Wonderland in film. She frequently contributes commentaries, liner notes and video essays to home entertainment releases from companies such as Arrow Video, Kino Lorber, Eureka Entertainment, Second Sight and Severin Films. She is a Research Fellow at RMIT University and an Adjunct Professor at Deakin University, and a member of the advisory board of the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies (LA, NYC, London).