Writer turned director Amy Koppelman shares a raw inside look at motherhood and postpartum depression in A Mouthful of Air. Actress Amanda Seyfried excellently portrays a mother who sometimes on the outside looks perfectly fine, but struggles with self-doubt, feelings of worthlessness, and depression in this heartwrenching real talk film.
A Mouthful of Air Movie Review
About the film:
Julie Davis, warm, kind, loving to her husband and child, is a bestselling children’s author. While her books deal with unlocking childhood fears, she has yet to unlock the dark secret that has haunted her own life. But when her second child is born, events occur that bring that secret to the fore, and with it, a crushing, powerful battle to survive.
A Mouthful of Air is available on Digital and On-Demand now.
The film opens with a content warning for people with a history of depression or anxiety as this may be a trigger. While the film opens your eyes to the inner workings of what it’s like to live with or go through depression and anxiety, it’s an important message for everyone. It helps those that may not know much about postpartum understand it more in-depth as well as understand the signs of PPD in friends and family members moving forward.
The unfortunate stigma of mental health leaves many wary of sharing their truth. In the film, Amy Koppelman does a fantastic job portraying delicate scenes like attempted suicide without the gore. Instead, you witness the aftershock and measures taken to help first-time mom Julie Davis as she struggles with PPD.
Happily married to Ethan (Finn Wittrock) Julie creatively writes and illustrates children’s books. Her son Teddy is nearly 1 year old and happily plays alongside her as she works. Yet, Julie is struggling internally with feelings of failure as a mom, low self-esteem, fatigue, and mom guilt. All of these are signs of PPD.
Amanda Seyfried brilliantly sells Julie’s struggles to survive all the while having a supportive husband at home. The film not only gives an inside look at how a new mom feels, but how those around her struggle to find the best way to approach and deal with situations as they arise.
Exclusive Interview with Amy Koppelman, Amanda Seyfried, and Dr. Harvey Karp
Amanda shares that as a mom she remembers those first few weeks after giving birth as a blur. Life quickly goes on. However, after playing this role she learned she has “more appreciation for myself.” Adding that “A Mouthful of Air is real and raw. It’s about a topic that’s hard to talk about and hard to make a movie about.”
Amy’s goal in making the film is to have mothers recognize the signs and get help. And for partners to learn the signs as well. PPD doesn’t look the same for everyone but lack of sleep can certainly trigger other emotions.
How to get help for Postpartum Depression:
Dr. Harvey Karp shares advice for moms going through postpartum depression here. His very first tip is “do not keep it a secret. This is a medical physiologic issue. It’s temporary. It gets better, but it requires treatment to get better.”
You are not alone.
While I didn’t have PPD after either birth, I have struggled with Anxiety since age 5, and Depression on and off at points in my life. Throughout moments in the film, I could certainly relate to Julie as a new mom and having those self-doubts. I’m certain every parent, regardless of their mental health, can relate to inadequate feelings at some point. That’s why I’m so glad A Mouthful of Air puts this mental health issue at the forefront.
Sleep deprivation + a crying baby can lead to PPD. Dr. Karp shares the 5 S’s to calming a crying baby and alleviate anxiety in new moms.
The film is based on Amy’s book which you can find here.
Sherry Bult says
Thank you for the review, it’s a great movie for girls night!