Thoroughbreds – Film Review by Frank L.
Director: Cory Finley
Writer: Cory Finley
Stars: Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Anton Yelchin
Cory Finley wrote the script to this film and it is also his debut as a director. Billed as a cross between Heathers and American Psycho, it is definitely of the noir genre. Set in wealthy Conneticut suburbia there are two girls, who once had been close, but who have come together again: one is Amanda (Olivia Cooke) and the other is Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy). Lily has become a sophisticated young woman who knows how to apply scarlet red lipstick on her otherwise cool, maquillage face. Amanda is untouched by her appearance, it is what it is. She has chosen not to accommodate discretion into her persona, she says it as it is. Lily lives in a large pile of a house with sweeping lawns, gardeners and rooms, many of them, sparse but expensively furnished. Her mother Karen (Kailli Vernoff) and step-father Mark (Paul Sparks), who is needless to say an unlovely creature, also live in this soulless house. Into this mix comes Tim (Anton Yelchin), who is an outsider in this society and now deals drugs. Amanda and Lily gradually coalesce and decide on a strategy to solve their problems.
As regards the cinematography everything is lusciously and beautifully shot. In fact, it is always visually arresting. Each of the actors play their characters with considerable style and middle-class restraint except for Tim who has discarded his social etiquette. There is throughout an excellent background sound which throbs menacingly through the piece as the story unfolds coupled with suitable music composed by Erik Friedlander . All of this ought to lead the viewer to feel unsettled as the story develops but it does not. Even the denouement scene, which again is beautifully shot, fails to unnerve the viewer. For some reason, the entire disappoints; it does not enter the soul of the viewer in its ninety minutes duration.
That said there is an immense amount of individual aspects of the film to enjoy and savour. But it will not, as a whole, place the viewer on the edge of his or her seat as it ought.