Taylor Schilling (Netflix’s Orange is the New Black) stars as a newly-single pregnant woman who confronts an uncertain future in the long-awaited sophomore drama from Wiebke von Carolsfeld (Marion Bridge).
Contemporary World Cinema
Wiebke von Carolsfeld
How roots can both nurture and trap us is the subject of Wiebke von Carolsfeld's finely observed Stay, based on the novel by Aislinn Hunter. Dermot (Aidan Quinn) is a historian reeling from a personal tragedy, who has isolated himself in a crumbling farmhouse on the rugged west coast of Ireland. His lover Abbey (Taylor Schilling, from the acclaimed series Orange is the New Black) is happy to hide out there with him. That is, until she realizes that she's pregnant.
Abbey's situation forces her to examine not only her relationship with Dermot, but also her feelings about family, including an alcoholic father (Michael Ironside) and long-lost mother, whose disappearance has permanently coloured Abbey's perspective on child rearing. While Abbey returns home to Montreal to contemplate what she's going to do, Dermot takes a young boy under his wing — and reluctantly finds himself being drawn back into the world.
Suffused with pain and loss, Stay is as psychologically astute as von Carolsfeld's acclaimed first feature, Marion Bridge; like its predecessor, the film is well aware that family secrets have a habit of growing in importance the more energetically they're swept under the rug. At the same time, Stay broadens the scope significantly, exploring not only the hidden history of two families, but also the changes to an entire community, one hit hard when the bottom fell out of the Irish economic miracle. Dermot and Abbey's struggle to move forward is a microcosmic reflection of larger events.
Stay is as much about hope for the future
as it is respect for the past. The dilemma
hinges on whether or not Dermot and
Abbey can accept it.