A kaleidoscope of playful imagery hits you from the opening scene in writer and director Amy Koppelman’s A Mouthful of Air. The movie showcases the experience of new mother Julie Davis, portrayed by Amanda Seyfried, as she struggles with postpartum depression. The film is based on Koppelman’s 2004 debut novel of the same name.
“I think that we’ve always seen depression portrayed as a very emo, heavy black eyeliner, dark thing,” says Koppelman. “We’re talking about postpartum depression and motherhood and putting on the mask of a smile.” To that end, she utilized a vivid and whimsical background to highlight the joy that Julie saw all around her. “The thing that was most important to me was to have a character that saw all the beauty in the world, loves her family, loved her children, and loved every little yellow flower that pops up through the ice, and still thought the world would be better off without her.”
Even with the rainbow-filled palette, the movie sets out to illustrate Julie’s mental illness with the seriousness it deserves. “There’s nothing romantic about her depression,” says Koppelman. “She would do anything she possibly could to escape it.” Koppelman double-downed on the use of color as the movie progressed. “The more down she is toward the end of the movie, the more saturated the color is, it’s the more almost like she’s holding on to it as much as she can. As if the insistence on color, the insistence on like, the vibrancy of it will somehow keep her here.”
You can watch Julie’s story for yourself in A Mouthful of Air, exclusively in theaters, on October 29, 2021.
About A Mouthful Of Air
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.