Film Review: Aubrey Plaza Steers the Unsettling ‘Ingrid Goes West’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – Aubrey Plaza (“Parks and Recreation”) is an actor who always seems to do something memorable in her performances. In “Ingrid Goes West,” she carries an entire movie on her quirky and sometimes disturbing character… that of a bipolar stalker who can’t find balance. Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

The interesting element of the film is that they establish that Plaza’s character of Ingrid is unbalanced from the first scene. She viciously attacks someone, and is sent to a mental health facility to do time and rehabilitation. What happens when she is let loose from those restraints is the guts of the movie, and it eventually devolves into an unexpected “anti-hero” story of a person who can’t get what she wants, until she does. As a smaller independent film, co-writer and director Matt Spicer gives it room to breath, and at the same time allows it to express its inevitability. Ten years ago, this film couldn’t have been made – social media is a specific plot point – and in a sense it does show the implications of human interaction with electronic devices that give instant communication and either gratification or difficulties.

Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza) commits an attack upon a friend at a wedding, and must do time in a mental health facility in lieu of jail. After release, she is back on her own, with an unexpected inheritance. Connecting to social media, she discovers Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), a California woman whose life is seemingly perfect. Ingrid then goes west to California to pursue that same dream.

She arrives and takes residence near Sloane’s house, under the auspice of landlord Dan (O’Shea Jackson Jr.). Through a series of events she meets her prey, and Taylor’s husband Ezra (Wyatt Russell). The “friendship” develops, but soon Taylor suspects something is not quite right, and that is amplified by her brother Nicky (Billy Magnussen). The ultimate rejection of Ingrid is followed by some unintended ramifications.

“Ingrid Goes West” is in select cities nationwide. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Wyatt Russell and Billy Magnussen. Written by Matt Spicer and David Branson Smith. Directed by Matt Spicer. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Ingrid Goes West”

Aubrey Plaza Goes Through the Electronic Mirror in ‘Ingrid Goes West’
Photo credit: Neon

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Ingrid Goes West”

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