Bruce Tetsuya’s review published on Letterboxd:
I am prepared to fight to the death for Lamb Baby.
This is not a horror film - but I understand why they felt the need to market it as such. A mainstream audience would not see the movie as is, if advertised completely truthfully. So, I hope a lot of people who weren't expecting what they got ended up enjoying it! I sure did, but am also mixed on a few things. Let's talk about both.
Noomi Rapace gives one of the best performances of the year! Don't be surprised if she shows up on The Dance of Cinema Oscars this year :) Also loved the visual references to famous artworks, especially that of the poster art, from the painting, Madonna and Child. Loved the visual metaphors a lot too. I really respect the trust the writers / director had in having much of the acting and emotional beats come from animals. Having worked with them in the past, I can attest, it takes a lot of patience and luck. All the animal beats in this movie were pretty perfectly timed, blocked, and everything. The lambs, dog, and cat were all honestly great! Good job guys lol! (Also very cool that this premiered at Cannes)...
Negatives... I feel like it ended 10mins prematurely. There is a time for an ambiguous / unresolved ending, but it doesn't always work for a feature. This kind of ending would have been great for a short film though, which leads me to my main issue with the film. Too much fluff (pun absolutely intended). I do love the atmosphere and naturalistic cinematography, but I am almost certain this concept and delivery would have been stronger / more memorable as a short film. I also don't think it needed to be broken into 3 chapters since it was only 1hr45min... But maybe that is supposed to reflect a storybook / fable element? If so, it works, but still took me out of the immersion each time.
First experience with the A24 Screening Room events! Pretty cool, love the interface on the site. The movie did lag a bit once or twice, but nothing that changed my enjoyment of the film. Honestly pretty impressed with this new feature! Hope they do more of them soon.