For Maggie (Minnie Driver) and Aaron Royal (Paul Adelstein) it seems that things are working out just right as they are expecting their first baby together and Aaron is especially happy as they know it will be a boy. It is an education for them both but one which ends in heartbreak as just a few weeks before their due date they learn that their baby has died in the womb and will be still born. Despite trying to cope with the loss it affects them both deeply and differently as well as putting a huge strain on their marriage with it looking like they are going their separate ways. That is when Maggie discovers that she is pregnant again, but with the loss of their first child still weighing heavily on them going through it again is even more stressful.
Let me state up front that I do not know the pain, fear or joy of having or losing a baby and for that reason I can't tell you whether or not "Return to Zero" does a good or bad job of dealing with a situation surrounding a couple who suddenly lost their yet to be born baby then facing the fear of it happening again. What I will say is that this movie grabbed me in a way I never anticipated and actually made me think about those who I knew who had lost a child during pregnancy and then went through it all over again and it did a good job of opening my eyes.
Now I am not going to go in to too much detail because "Return to Zero" needs to be watched to appreciate it but I will point out a couple of powerful scenes. For example imagine you are at 38 weeks and are preparing for being parents for the first time to suddenly be confronted by the fact you have to bury your yet to be born child, decide on a name and so much more. Then take having to redecorate the room which you had decorated as a nursery as the pain it brings is too much to live with. This is a movie which does have a lot of powerful scenes which open up your eyes to a situation which is never spoken about and the knock on effect it has not only immediately for a couple but when they are faced with going through pregnancy again they have that fear hanging over them.
Now for me Minnie Driver makes the movie as the moments of quietness she gives her character as people around her talk from a hospital representative going through the autopsy to her husband wanting answers you can feel the pain and turmoil. It makes those occasional outbursts all the more powerful as you can sense all those bottled up emotions were just needing to be released. At the same time Paul Adelstein does a nice job of making Aaron a typical man who throws himself in to work and projects to try and deal with things, putting on some bravado and not quiet getting what Maggie is feeling or going through. I wouldn't say it is perfect in showing this side of things but in between some flaws it does a good job.
What this all boils down to is that "Return to Zero" does do a very powerful job of dramatizing a situation which never gets spoken about and also dealing with the knock on effects of it to those involved. It isn't perfect, some of the scenes of Maggie dealing with the sympathy feel forced but it opens your eyes to the stresses and strains of pregnancy.