(NIGHTSTREAM 2020) FILM REVIEW: BLOCKS is a darkly comedic take on the often thankless tasks of motherhood.


Director Bridget Maloney and star Claire Coffee impress in this tale of a mother losing and regaining her agency and the walls of building blocks in between those states.

Motherhood is oftentimes a thankless task. Watching young children and tending to their needs all day long, feeding them, bathing them, as well as managing their social calendar and, often, maintaining the home simultaneously is a beyond full-time position. Claire does all this and more with a busy husband in the mix and, slowly, something starts to break. Claire starts to vomit little Lego-style blocks anytime she starts to feel the stress from her role as a mother. Going from one or two, until bags worth of building blocks pour out of her, the question soon becomes where is this going and is there an end to it.

Director Bridget Maloney impresses in directing this tale which makes its point strongly about the importance of keeping one’s identity and agency in a family unit but manages stays fun, approachable, and light. It’s a good touch in that even her body has lost its agency in its rejection of the stress of motherhood by creating busy toys for the children in her revulsion. When the kids reject those, she uses them to create a place of solace for herself that gives her a respite from the stresses of her duties with the kids and makes them and her husband see her a little more clearly and the stress she’s under. Marc Webber does a great job as the clueless husband and Claire Coffee is great as the lead; sympathetic and we want to see her come out on top.

BLOCKS is a great light short with slick directing and production design. It’s well worth a watch.

BLOCKS is part of the SOMETHING STRANGE – North Bend Shorts section of the Nightstream Film Festival at Nightstream.org. Available 10/8