2017 Los Angeles Film FestivalEntertainmentFilm

LA Film Festival Review: Aubrey Plaza in Ingrid Goes West

What happens when one lonely girl moves to the “City of Angels” to satisfy her obsession with her online presence?

After the passing of her mother, Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza) moves to LA to stalk her latest obsession, Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), the famous boho-chic Instagrammer.

As it is expected “Ingrid Goes West” is a comedy about social media, however, audiences may be pleasantly surprised to see that it also touches on the subject of mental health. Although the film centers around social media and pokes fun at the millennials who use it, it becomes clear that this use of social media acts as a vehicle for Ingrid’s mental issues. Once she finally does meets Taylor, the plot becomes more about their relationship and how Ingrid struggles to fit into Taylor’s world.

The way the story starts to shift its focus away from social media makes it relatable to everyone, regardless of their technical abilities, and will allow it to be relevant years after Instagram is obsolete.

Much of the success of “Ingrid Goes West” is due to spot-on casting, particularly in the performance brought by Aubrey Plaza, who also received her second producer credit for this film. Still true to her comedy style, this role revealed a more emotional side that displayed Plaza’s abilities to be a well rounded actress. During the more dramatic scenes, Plaza has audiences rooting for and empathizing with Ingrid even when she wasn’t making the best decisions.

A strange but endearing relationship blossoms between Ingrid and her landlord Dan (O’Shea Jackson Jr., “Straight Outta Compton”) that ultimately ends up being her only true relationship. Despite Ingrid’s obsession with Taylor, Dan chooses to stick by her side and accept her for who she is.

The only thing that audiences may have mixed feelings about in “Ingrid Goes West” is the ending. Although it is not completely believable, it is still understandable as to why writers Matt Spicer and David Bronson Smith would end the film in such a way, specifically with the social media aspect.

Overall, it was a fantastic film full of laughs, tragedy and heart with a cast that Ingrid herself would find obsession-worthy.

“Ingrid Goes West” closed out the LA Film Festival on Thursday, June 22. It will be in theaters everywhere August 11.

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