Feb 3, 2019
Welcome back to another week of movie reviews, along with an exciting new milestone. Tomorrow marks 400 episodes for the podcast, providing a fresh movie review every day barring the occasional natural disaster. Be sure to check in tomorrow for an extended episode, with a lot of thanks, and for a review of another Lovecraftian horror film.
In the meantime, without any new sponsors, I’m digging back into the archives for the perfect fictional companion film to yesterday’s review for “Fyre” (Episode #398). “Ingrid Goes West” caught me off guard with its incredible editing that captures the social media world. It currently sits at an 85% Certified Fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and a strong 71 on Metacritic. If you haven’t seen this awkward, disturbing gem, you can catch it on Hulu or wherever you rent/purchase films.
Oh yeah, and before the review, another volume of the Marc’s Movie Impressions Preservation Society has been released by our friends on the Moviedrone Podcast. More episodes are likely in the works, but be sure to head over to moviedrone.podbean.com and subscribe to their podcast. Here’s a quick promo for them, followed by the review.
Today’s movie is “Ingrid Goes West”, directed by Matt Spicer and written in collaboration with David Branson Smith. The film follows Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza), a social media stalker who has moved to Los Angeles to push herself into the life of Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), and while renting a room from aspiring screenwriter Dan Pinto (O’Shea Jackson, Jr.). The film was distributed by Neon.
I shouldn’t have liked this film as much as I did. Stalking is a serious problem, so making a comedy about stalking that doesn’t belittle the subject matter is difficult. And yet, this film does just that with a combination of smart writing and storytelling, incredible editing, and almost surrealistic performances from everyone involved. The result is a subversive film addressing social media and an incredible debut for Matt Spicer.
Aubrey Plaza gives a dynamic performance, adapting her character for each relationship, making you believe every action, no matter how absurd or over the top. Elizabeth Olsen reveals her character throughout the film, probably the first honest portrayal of an Instagram star, someone you either love or hate. And O’Shea Jackson, Jr. plays an excellent straight man against the insanity of the plot, the only honest voice in the group.
I was also incredibly impressed by all the representations of social media. The rapid fire imagery of the posts, the way it can consume someone’s life, and the genius move to read aloud the text including the emojis, driving home just how self-serving or exaggerated most social media can be. And yeah, this review probably sounds like what I’m talking about, but I, like, totally, really mean it. #IAmIngrid :-)
This film looks, feels, and behaves like social media. I’ve purposefully stayed away from major plot details because I believe it will be a better experience. Whether you love or hate social media, this film will speak to you, and might make you question your own social media habits. I do have a trigger warning for anyone who has been affected by stalking, though, because this film goes to some dark places, but always for a purpose.