New American Cinema

SIFF Says:

On the list of irrevocably life-altering surprises, pregnancy has to be right at the top—no matter what your age. For 30-something high-school science teacher Samantha (Cobie Smulders, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER), news of the “blessed event” couldn’t come at a worse time. She recently found out her job at an inner-city Chicago school is ending due to budget cuts, and she worries that impending motherhood may interfere with her future career plans. Then there are the awkward conversations she must have with her live-in boyfriend (Anders Holm) and—even worse—her judgmental mother (Elizabeth McGovern). As Samantha ponders these crossroads, she begins mentoring straight-A student Jasmine (Gail Bean), who comes from a poor family and is concerned about getting into college. When Jasmine confides that she too, is pregnant, she and Samantha develop an even deeper bond, based on shared feelings of fear, joy, doubt, and courage, that transcends their different races, ages, and economic backgrounds. Director Kris Swanberg gives this potentially melodramatic story a light, naturalistic touch, allowing moments of quiet humor to shine through the conflicting emotions. UNEXPECTED takes an honest, realistic look at unplanned pregnancy from the perspective of two vibrant, fully-formed female characters—something refreshingly unexpected compared to most Hollywood fare about this delicate, universal subject.

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Film Credits
Kris Swanberg
Cobie Smulders, Anders Holm, Gail Bean, Elizabeth McGovern
SIFF 2015