Nanny Parent Guide
The main character is interesting and compelling but this film would benefit from greater intensity and a bit more scary content.
Parent Movie Review
Aisha (Anna Diop) has recently moved to New York City from Senegal and taken a job as a nanny. Her goal is to earn enough money to bring her young son, Lamine (Jahleel Kamara) to join her in America.
Aisha’s employer, Amy (Michelle Monaghan), is a busy, career-driven woman, who doesn’t have as much time as she’d like to look after her daughter, Rose (Rose Decker). Husband Adam (Morgan Spector) is a freelance photographer with an unpredictable schedule. While Aisha loves spending time with Rose, it leaves her very little time to herself. But she needs the money, so she buckles down and gets to work…until she starts having nightmares and hallucinations. The visions are disturbing, but don’t prevent her from doing her job. The growing marital disputes between Amy and Adam, on the other hand, might pose a more immediate problem. Between the demands of her job and her marital issues with Adam, Amy has been neglecting to pay Aisha properly. If Aisha wants to bring Lamine to join her, that’s going to prove a much bigger issue than a few strange dreams…right?
Nanny is billed as a horror film, but it isn’t what you expect from the genre. It’s mostly a character story about Aisha, her fears and her dreams; her determination and her struggles. Sure, there are a few scenes that go for a more unnerving angle, but it’s never out and out scary. In a lot of ways, I wish it was. Aisha’s character is interesting and compelling, and she’s played vividly by Anna Diop, but I think the movie needs something more intense in the mix.
Despite the general absence of scares, this isn’t a movie for younger audiences. There are a number of scenes of partial female nudity, most of which are in the bath or shower, but one of which is in a sexual context. There’s also some profanity and social drinking to watch out for. The film’s subtleties are also aimed more at an adult audience: character studies are not famously popular with younger viewers.
I feel somewhat ambivalent about Nanny, making it difficult to write a decusive review. On the one hand, the film features a remarkable performance from Diop, strong cinematography, and an interesting story about immigrant experiences – with a supernatural twist. On the other hand, I can’t shake the feeling that the movie missed an opportunity to develop those ideas just a little bit more, which could have made it a stand-out in the genre. I still think it’s worth watching for adult genre fans = I just wish it had given me a little bit more.Directed by Nikyatu Jusu. Starring Anna Diop, Michelle Monaghan, Sinqua Walls. Running time: 97 minutes. Theatrical release December 16, 2022. Updated December 13, 2022
Watch the trailer for Nanny
Rating & Content Info
Why is Nanny rated R? Nanny is rated R by the MPAA for some language and brief sexuality/nudity.
Violence: There are references to murder and a child drowning. A character accidentally cuts their hand.
Sexual Content: Female characters are seen partially nude in baths and showers. There is one sex scene featuring female toplessness. There are references to sexual assault, harassment, and adultery.
Profanity: There are four sexual expletives, seven scatological curses, and infrequent uses of mild profanities and terms of deity in the script.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are seen drinking socially.
Page last updated December 13, 2022
Nanny Parents' Guide
Both of the women in this movie have to make hard choices about the care they provide their own child. What kind of options do the women have? If other options were available, would they use them? What are the results of their decisions? How do their societies judge their choices?
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Another dark take on immigrant horror is His House, which follows a pair of refugees from South Sudan struggling to adapt to the UK. Nannies and babysitters are famously plagued by spirits, ancient evils, and murderers in films like The Turning, Halloween, The Boy, and The Boathouse.