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Sundance Review: Ingrid Goes West

Ingrid Goes West is like All About Eve crossed with Fatal Attraction for the social media age. The film is all about a girl named Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza), who we learn right from the start takes her obsessions with people a little too far. After burning a bridge with her last Instagram idol, Ingrid needs something or someone else to occupy her time. Soon she discovers a new candidate worth stalking: Taylor (Elizabeth Olsen,) a lifestyle photographer with a perfect life. In hopes of becoming Taylor's new best friend, Ingrid takes her inheritance money from her mother's recent passing and moves out west, determined to cross paths with her new fixation.

Director Matt Spicer achieves the nearly impossible task of being able to both balance, as well as rapidly shift between tones that are as different as day and night. Ingrid does hairpin turns from laugh out loud funny and riotous to downright disturbing, creepy and dark with incredible ease for a first time director. These abrupt turns wouldn't work without the fantastic performances of the two leads. They completely transform into their roles and really sell this story as something you could really see happening. Plus, you can tell they're having a great time, which always makes things delightful. O'Shea Jackson Jr, who plays Ingrid's Batman-loving-landlord and admirer may be having the greatest time of all and really steals every scene he's in. He's definitely the most likable character and gives the film its heart when all of the characters around him are pretty much shallow and terrible.

Ingrid Goes West is so messed up, yet so much fun. It's witty and clever, but most importantly it's timely. Even though we've seen this story told countless times before, this time it feels fresh and it feels important-- especially considering how much time we spend on our devices looking at social media. The fact that Ingrid can surprise us at all is a real triumph, the fact that it happens to be a solid hilarious film is just icing on the cake. RATING: 9/10

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