Review: Animals (2019 Sundance Film Festival)

Title: Animals
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Director: Sophie Hyde
Starring: Holliday Grainger, Alia Shawkat, Fra Fee
Runtime: 1 hr 49 mins

What It Is: Laura is a writer (Grainger) and her best friend and roommate Tyler (Shawkat) well she has some issues holding a job. The two are hard-partying women trying to live their best life in Dublin. When Laura meets a handsome young pianist Jim (Fee) it changes her relationship with Tyler. You see the two of them were of the firm belief that they didn’t need anyone else. That things like love and marriage were trivial. Perhaps now Laura is having a change of heart.

What We Think: I loved this film! Let me stress one thing though this isn’t some “coming of age” tale. These are adult women struggling to figure out life. It’s a script wonderfully written and a film solidly directed. Sophie Hyde never lets the material get the best of her and instead tackles SO well. Alia Shawkat is very funny and in a festival full of heavy it was nice to have a little levity. Sure some of the story points drag or repeat a bit but I had enough fun with this to allow myself to look past it.

Our Grade: A, Say what you will about this but it may very well have been my favorite film of the festival. In the Q&A that followed I learned that the film was based on a somewhat autobiographical book written by screenwriter Emma Jane Unsworth. This is a film that I think a general audience will love…if they can get past the excessive drug use. This takes the credo of Cyndi Lauper’s 1983 song and lives it. These girls truly just wanna have fun. Of course, this is a high recommendation. Do yourself a favor and watch this when it is released. 09

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