Ingrid Goes West – Film Review by Frank L.
Director: Matt Spicer
Writers: David Branson Smith, Matt Spicer
Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, O’Shea Jackson Jr.
Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza) was not invited to a friend’s super smart white wedding. She goes anyway and confronts the bride at the reception by spraying some noxious substance in her face. She then flees to Los Angeles where she creates a new life. In particular, she decides to make a new friend of Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen) whom she stalks on social media initially before she meets her in reality by a series of unlikely ruses which includes stealing Taylor’s dog. There then follows a bizarre collection of situations between Aubrey and Taylor which are iinter-splicedwith Taylor’s boyfriend, Aubrey’s landlord, Taylor’s brother and so on. These tableaux are meant to be comic however as the individuals which she encounters are for the most part stereotypes of one type or another the humour, if any, is obscured.
While 33-year-old writer/ director Matt Spicer has worked on a number of shorts, this is his debut feature film. It is therefore surprising that Elizabeth Olsen is involved in the project, given her recent track record with major releases such as the Avengers. While lead actress Aubrey Plaza is not a major star, she has been in constant work with TV shows such as Legion and Criminal Minds. She is possibly the best thing about this film, with a strong performance as the titular Ingrid.
It feels strange writing words about this fim, as really the review should be solely in emojis. A great deal of communication takes place by means of various types of social media which is inevitable given the milieu in which Ingrid operates. However, it makes it difficult to inject much drama into the piece. Glimpses of Los Angeles’ laid back, glitzy lifestyle may appeal to some but the main plus was the acting of Aubrey Plaza who has an impressive deadpan, unemotional delivery. Her portrayal of Ingrid’s social awkwardness and sometimes sheer nastiness was a fine piece of acting. However, it is a pity that the material at her disposal was so undistinguished. The film lasts an hour and thirty eight minutes and most people probably have better ways of spending that amount of time. 😦