Choices

By Erica Rose | Drama
A woman discovers she's pregnant, then is forced to make a difficult choice.

Zazie is a 27-year-old woman still finding her place in life when she discovers she is pregnant. She's been fairly passive about her life so far, but that course of inaction isn't an option here, and everyone from her best friend to her mother has a visceral opinion on what she should do.

As she grapples with a choice that could reshape her future, she must finally face adulthood -- transforming herself and her key relationships in the process.

Directed by Erica Rose from a script written by Jess Jacobs, this affecting, compassionate drama is essentially a coming-of-age of a young woman who has put off adulthood as long as possible. Zazie is warm, smart and talented, but she's been floating passively in her life for some time, unable to commit to her career or a relationship. All that changes when she discovers she is pregnant, grappling with the choice to either terminate her pregnancy or become a single mother.

The film takes the "Sliding Doors" approach to tell Zazie's story, imagining one path where she decides to keep the baby and another where she decides not to. Told with a graceful naturalism that's both melancholic and warm in look and feel, both perspectives are handled with an equanimity and non-judgmental attitude, which is remarkable for such a polarizing subject matter. No matter where it's at, the narrative holds its focus on Zazie and her relationships with her friends and her mother, carefully building character and interactions with intimacy and depth.

In a graceful, resonant performance, Jacobs plays Zazie with honesty and understatement, as she grapples with her future and what she wants in life. We feel her uncertainty and confusion, as well as her longings and misgivings in both choices. As Zazie mulls over her decisions, we also discover the stories of her friend and her mother -- bringing them all closer together and deepening their connection, even as Zazie is faced with her most difficult decision yet. And no matter what she does, it forces her to reckon with herself.

Beyond its compelling craftsmanship and deeply humane storytelling, what "Choices" does so well is imagine the emotional complexity of either choice that Zazie could make, for neither path is easy nor without sadness. It is also unwavering in its belief that women deserve support, no matter what path they take, and portrays the support, care and witnessing that they can give one another at the most crucial junctures of life. Sometimes these junctures are crafted by intention and effort; sometimes they are forced. However anyone comes to them, they deserve dignity, compassion and humanity.




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