Sherrybaby (2006)

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Released 5-Dec-2007

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Menu Audio
Theatrical Trailer-Sherrybaby
Teaser Trailer-Madman Propaganda Trailers
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 91:20 (Case: 96)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Laurie Collyer
Big Beach LLC
Madman Entertainment
Starring Maggie Gyllenhaal
Michelle Hurst
Sandra Rodríguez
Anna Simpson
Giancarlo Esposito
Caroline Clay
Rio Hackford
Brad William Henke
Bridget Barkan
Ryan Simpkins
Stephen Peabody
Danny Trejo
Sam Bottoms
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Jack Livesey

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Sherrybaby is the feature film debut of writer/director Laurie Collyer. This modest independent film is lifted somewhat by the performance of Maggie Gyllenhaal in the lead role. Laurie's friend and her one time mentor, Naomi Foner, is the mother of Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Whether or not this had any influence on the casting I really don't know but either way Maggie is superb in the role.

     Single mother Sherry Swanson (Maggie Gyllenhaal) has just been released from a three year stint in prison for stealing to support her drug addiction. While serving her time, Sherry's brother Bobby (Brad William Henke) and his wife Lynette (Bridget Barkan) have been caring for Sherry's young daughter Alexis (Ryan Simpkins). But this in itself has created some problems. Because of her young age, Alexis has bonded strongly with her uncle and aunt. In fact, this bond has been actively encouraged from the perspective of the adults. Sherry feels the sense of alienation on her reunion with Alexis and naturally this becomes highly contentious.

     Sherry's flirtatious nature is alluring to most men and she uses sexuality to her advantage. She secures a job in child care through such means, which she hopes will set her on the road to redemption and a fresh start with Alexis. But Sherry's past misdemeanours continue to shadow her. Her drug demons and the desire to rekindle the relationship with her daughter are constant pressures in her life. With the strict conditions of her parole, Sherry could risk everything on even the smallest mistake. Everyday she walks a thin line between reconciliation and relapse. The origin of Sherry's sexual behaviour is hinted at during a scene between Sherry and her father, played by Sam Bottoms. But this aspect of their relationship is not explored any further in the film.

     While not all elements of Sherrybaby are successful, the film is generally thought-provoking and compelling. There is no doubting, Gyllenhaal's brave performance is the pillar of the film and it's worth seeing for this reason alone.

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Transfer Quality


     Sherrybaby is presented in the correct aspect ratio of 1.85:1, which is 16x9 enhanced. The transfer displayed a decent level of sharpness throughout, with just the occasional hint of inherent softness. Blacks were clean and shadows held strong detail. Colours were mostly unobtrusive. They appeared natural and nicely balanced on the disc. There were no MPEG artefacts. Film-to-video and film artefacts were insignificant.

     Unfortunately, there are no subtitles available on this edition.

     This is a DVD 9, dual layer disc. The layer change was poorly placed at 57:20 and was easily apparent.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     There are two audio tracks available on the DVD, English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s) and English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224 Kb/s). Dialogue quality was good and audio sync appeared accurate. The original music in the film is credited to Jack Livesey. His music is combined with a few songs by other artists.

     This is a dialogue driven film, so most of the sound is front and centre. The surround channels predominately carry ambient sound. Likewise, the very nature of the film produced low subwoofer activity.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



The main menu is static, 16x9 enhanced and features a sample of music from the film.

Theatrical Trailer - Sherrybaby (2:23)

Madman Propaganda

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    There is a Region 1 edition of Sherrybaby. This was released by Screen Media/Universal in January 2007, and is almost identical to the Madman edition.

    The US release features the addition of English and Spanish subtitles. It also presents the film in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, which is slightly off the correct ratio of 1.85:1. The only extra on both editions is the theatrical trailer.

   My advice would be to buy the edition which is more convenient to your location.


     Although not entirely successful, Sherrybaby is still a very strong independent film. It features a stellar performance from Maggie Gyllenhaal in a difficult role and is a worthy addition to any collection.

     The video and audio transfers are both very good. Unfortunately, the only extra is the theatrical trailer.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Steve Crawford (Tip toe through my bio)
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DMP-BD35 Blu Ray Player, using HDMI output
DisplayHitachi 106cm Plasma Display 42PD5000MA (1024x1024). Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationPanasonic SA-HE70 80W Dolby Digital and DTS
SpeakersFronts: Jensen SPX7 Rears: Jensen SPX4 Centre: Jensen SPX13 Subwoofer: Jensen SPX17

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