Spoonful of Sugar

Spoonful of Sugar poster

A child of the foster system, finding it difficult to form attachments and always disappointed in people, a childminding role for the Michaels family is a big step for Millicent but perhaps just what they and she needs, her charge Johnny non-verbal and prone to fits of violent rage exacerbated by the raft of allergens to which he is sensitive, but with soft-spoken misfit Millicent he is immediately calmer.

Mother Rebecca a writer whose new book has just been released, she is a serious woman who is all about control, Johnny’s unpredictability something which leaves her angry and exhausted, blaming others for her feelings of inadequacy as a parent, while father Jacob is a carpenter, more relaxed with himself and others though each of them require safety valves, Rebecca gaining focus through self-inflicted pain, Jacob allowing Millicent to become infatuated with him, and Millicent dropping self-prescribed lysergic acid diethylamide.

Spoonful of Sugar; daddy Jacob watering the garden, Millicent (Morgan Saylor) longs to get drenched.

Directed by Mercedes Bryce Morgan and written by Leah Saint Marie, their Spoonful of Sugar is a requirement to help some very bitter medicine go down, a distressing dissection of high-functioning adults who rather than seeking help for their dysfunction indulge themselves, not that their shared practitioner is much help, blind to the manipulations of Millicent and with Jacob believing Johnny has been misdiagnosed, perhaps deliberately.

With Jamie Marks is Dead‘s Morgan Saylor as Millicent, feeling apart from humanity, her private feelings incomprehensible to others, something she feels brings her closer to Johnny, her LSD fantasies are intense and intrusive but not entirely unwelcome, liberating her from the perception that others look down on her, while Kat Foster and Myko Olivier could not be more different as Rebecca and Jacob, she frosty and intolerant and he so warm he rarely wears a shirt.

Spoonful of Sugar; a trip on the bus takes Millicent (Morgan Saylor) for a wild ride.

Millicent presenting herself differently to everyone she interacts with, manipulating each of them differently to get what she wants, only Rebecca is apparently immune, instead reacting with jealously to how close Johnny has become to “the babysitter,” and like Millicent’s preferred medication only a single drop of her is enough to corrupt everything it touches, as dangerous as any exposure to nickel, gluten, animal fur or refined sugar.

With dead bunnies buried in the garden along with more than a few secrets, Spoonful of Sugar is a boiling pot of repressed and misdirected emotion exacerbated by Millicent’s tendency to cling even as she softens her appearance and approach, every misleading sensation magnified by her manipulated brain chemistry, a disaster waiting to happen with the only question being which point of stress will be the first to snap.

Spoonful of Sugar is available on Shudder now

Spoonful of Sugar; Doctor Welsh (Keith Powell) tries to be firm with Millicent (Morgan Saylor).