A scene like this deserves talking about because it’s literally tethered to the weight of the entire rest of the movie. Filmed in a single take, the performers never lose sight of the realness of it all. There’s a tendency to think of a sequence like this as a gimmick, but there’s a certain velocity that’s propelling us through this incredibly-staged, albeit long, travail. To add sincerity to the matter, it’s inspired by a real-life circumstance of Mundruczó and his partner, Kata Wéber, who pens the script. Whether or not we’re comfortable with what it’s doing, this sequence commands our attention. We know it’s important, and as a viewer we can’t help but give it the respect it deserves.
Throughout the remainder of the film, Martha and Sean each handle their grief in an entirely different way. Martha, quiet but mercurial, keeps the pain hidden from most, but tries erasing her daughter from her mind where she can. She takes down the framed picture of the ultrasound and sends the baby’s body off to be studied by science. Sean, unpredictable and volatile in his own right, wants to keep hanging onto his daughter as long as possible. With the two at odds, their relationship turns sour.