A new feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” withRyan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, the Steven Soderbergh heist film “Lucky Logan” and the social commentary on social media of “Ingrid Goes West.”
Richard and CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund have a look at the weekend’s new movies including “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” withRyan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, the Steven Soderbergh heist film “Lucky Logan,” the social commentary on social media of “Ingrid Goes West” and the down ‘n dirty grit of the ironically named “Good Time.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the big weekend movies including the Ryan Reynolds/Samuel L. Jackson buddy comedy “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” the Steven Soderbergh heist film “Lucky Logan,” the social commentary on social media of “Ingrid Goes West” and the down ‘n dirty grit of the ironically named “Good Time.”
I wonder if, in 200 years, aliens will study all our dead Instagram accounts to gain insight into our way of life. If so, you could forgive them if they surmised that everyone in 2017 lived perfect, #blessed lives filled with the wonders of avocado toast and gorgeous sunsets.
The perfectly curated worldview of Instagram is at the heart of Aubrey Plaza’s dark new film Ingrid Goes West. The former Parks and Recreation star plays the title character, a lonely New Yorker who befriends people on Instagram only to get upset when they don’t let her into their lives. Fixated on a Californian social media star with a seemingly perfect life played by Elizabeth Olsen, Ingrid uses her inheritance money and, as the title tells us, goes west in search of the perfect life she sees on her phone everyday.
“Ingrid is in every scene of the movie,” Plaza says, “and I’ve never been in a movie where I’m in every single scene. It was exciting to me, the idea that I would have so much time to take that character on a journey and dig really deep and peel back all those layers. I really related to the idea of feeling like you want to connect and you want someone to like you.”
Plaza is on Twitter (@evilhag) and Instagram (plazadeaubrey) but says the movie reinforced the idea that everything on social media is not real life.
“It really reminded me of how all of the perfect, beautiful things you see are not real,” she says. “They’re purposeful. The film is a great reminder that we are all flawed and we have to be careful about the stories we tell about ourselves. I think it is important to build awareness about how it makes us feel at the end of the day.
“For me, personally, I always try to be authentic in every way that I can, but it really hard on social media because you have so much control over what you can show. As a consumer of it I think the movie has taught me that it is not always what it seems.”
Ingrid Goes West has the makings of either a comedy or psychological thriller but mostly plays like a cautionary tale. As a portrait of a woman who buys into the InstaMyth of an effortlessly curated life, it’s a withering comment on the real stories behind social media’s hashtagged pictures. Unlike her onscreen alter ego Plaza understands ‘likes” do not equal love.
“I’m really interested in talking about social media and encouraging other people to talk about it and how it is affecting them and how much time they spend on it,” she says, before adding, “Personally I hope it goes away. I hope it doesn’t stick around forever. I’m sure it will change. It will morph into something else.”
The thirty-three year old actress admits social media has positive aspects but remains sceptical of its effects.
“There are people who get support there and it is a global connector so I don’t want to dismiss those parts of it,” she says, “but I think there is something so isolating about it. That is what I really don’t like. There is more value in being present and living in the world that you are in.”
Recently an article titled, “My Instagram’s Perfect, My Real Life is Not,” described the author’s myriad of professional and personal problems. It’s a laundry list of millennial angst framed by a line that appears midway through the story. Everything is real life was going wrong, but, she says, “you wouldn’t know any of this if you were to look at my social media presence.”
It’s not an uncommon story. In 200 years from now aliens, who will only understand the world through dead Instagram accounts, will believe that everyone lived perfect, #blessed lives filled with the wonders of avocado toast and gorgeous sunsets. Carefully curated Instagram pages, and a woman who loves them, are at the heart of “Ingrid Goes West,” a new film starring Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen.
Plaza plays Ingrid, a lonely New Yorker who befriends people on Instagram only to get upset when they don’t let her into their lives. “Lame and basic,” Ingrid goes so far as to show up, uninvited, to a “friend’s” wedding with a can of mace. Insta-blocked after that event, she fixates on Taylor Sloane (Olsen), a Californian social media star with a seemingly perfect life. With inherited money from her late mothers and state Ingrid, as the title tells us, goes west in search of the perfect life she sees on her phone everyday.
A fat bank account and plenty of nerve—Ingrid kidnaps Taylor’s dog so she can return him and insinuate herself into her life—she becomes friends with the InstaStar and her artist husband (Russell Wyatt). At first everything is hunky dory.
“You’re so funny. You’re so awesome. You’re the greatest person I have ever met,” gushes Taylor after knowing Ingrid for only a day. Soon, though, Ingrid is exposed for what she the possessive sociopath—a single white female for the Internet age—who gets jealous when Taylor hangs out or worse, is photographed with other people, and even her own brother.
“Ingrid Goes West” has the makings of either a comedy or psychological thriller but mostly plays like a cautionary tale. A portrait of a woman who buys into the InstaMyth of an effortlessly curated life, it’s a withering comment on the real stories behind social media’s hashtagged pictures. “Likes” do not equal love.
At the heart of this is Plaza, an actor unafraid to plumb the depths of desperation in her characters. Unlikeable in almost every way, Ingrid is as deep as a lunch tray and yet, because Plaza plays her as a human and not simply a caricature, she remains compelling.
Olsen, whose famous twin sisters were proto Instagram stars, embodies the kind of superficial social media maven who thinks nothing of asking—with a perfect vocal fry—a stranger to lay on the ground to take the perfect “candid” shot of her fabulous life. She’s the neo-American Dream, a perfectly fluffy confection with a dark heart and a permanent spot on the guest list for every hot club in town.
On the sidelines, but still memorable is O’Shea Jackson as Ingrid’s Batman-obsessed landlord Dan. He isn’t given much to do—he spends more time reading comics than cruising Instagram—but is a likeable and charming presence.
“Ingrid Goes West” essays the phony baloney world of social media but does so with grace and depth, exposing the disconnect many people feel in a digital world.
A new feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at the devil doll flick “Annabelle: Creation,” the Jeremy Renner thriller “Wind River” and Brie Larson in “The Glass Castle.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the big weekend movies including the devil doll flick “Annabelle: Creation,” the Jeremy Renner thriller “Wind River” and Jenny Slate’s dramedy “Landline.”
Last year Taylor Sheridan helped breathe new life into the western genre with the script to Hell or High Water. It was a hot and sweaty West Texas crime drama that earned four Oscar nominations. Before that he penned Sicario, the Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro drama about an idealistic FBI agent working with an elite task force to stem the flow of drugs between Mexico and the US.
His latest film, this time as both writer and director, is another neo-western but feels much different. “Wind River” is a wintry murder mystery set on a First Nations Reserve.
“They are each exploration of the modern American frontier,” he says, “a real examination of the exploitation of these areas. [They are also about] fathers managing grief and moving on or overcoming and accepting perceived failures as fathers. I had become a new father when I wrote these and obviously was terrified of the notion of failing my child. So what does a writer do? He imagines the worst scenario and writes about it.”
In the film Jeremy Renner plays Cory Lambert, a Wyoming Fish and Wildlife agent called to a reserve to track a mountain lion that has attacked local livestock. While hunting his prey he discovers the dead body of local teen. She’s miles away from the nearest house, barefoot and frozen solid. Lambert figures she died running away from something or someone until her lungs froze and burst in the 20 below weather. When FBI agent Jane Banner, played by Elizabeth Olsen, arrives the pair soon discover that mountain lions aren’t the most dangerous predators in the area.
Wind River, like his other films, explores social issues. Sicario dove into the soft underbelly of the American war on drugs while Hell or High Water was a financial-crisis drama set against a backdrop of outlaws, buddies and banks. Wind River shines a light on law enforcement’s apathy in investigating the disappearance of indigenous women. All are, as he says, “examinations of grief,” a topic he admits isn’t exactly the stuff of summer blockbusters.
“Obviously the studio system is trying to figure out what most people want to watch and make a movie that appeals to most people,” he says. “I’m not trying to do that. I’m trying to write a film that I want to go see. I assume I am not that unique about things that matter to me. That’s what I do. I can’t go into the writing of a screenplay with concerns about the audience I’m trying to reach or the expense or difficulty of making them. When I am struck with something I care about and I’m curious about the way a character might deal with this issue or that issue, then I explore. I have no regard for who is going to come see it and I can’t.”
Sheridan, who, when he isn’t directing or writing, is also a busy actor, most recently starring on the hit show Sons of Anarchy, says making Wind River was difficult but he’s happy with the film.
“The ultimate goal is to do what you set out to do,” he says, “which is make a movie that excites and entertains and has you thinking about it later. That is the Holy Grail of filmmaking. If I can do that, I’ve done my job.”