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Sundance 2017 Film Review: “Ingrid Goes West” (2017) ★★★★


It does happen sometimes when friendship is taken a bit more seriously than it should be. A person becomes more obsessed by its target or a reason for admiration… but in a bit strange way. Ingrid is a true definition of the word ‘psycho”. She has no life, or rather has, but so uneventful that she decides to copy the life of a social network celebrity Taylor Sloan. For that, she takes her inherited money, total sixty grands and travels to L.A to be closer to someone whose friendship she feels she must have.

Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen) has a perfect life, unlike Ingrid Thorburn (Audrey Plaza’s performance deserves an applause) whose life is so incredibly imperfect. Ingrid looks for attention, friendship and being important in someone’s life. Finding Taylor’s account on Instagram, Ingrid seems to have found a perfect match that could have fulfilled her “friendship” requirements. She even succeeds at that when she finally gets Taylor’s attention.

Following Taylor’s advise (not literally though), she moves to L.A and uses a new hashtag #ingridgoeswest. Having a large sum in her pockets, Ingrid rents an apartment in L.A. and befriends Dan Pinto, her landlord and a huge fan of Batman. Also, Ingrid starts buying the handbag that Taylor uses and even does a more bizarre thing – kidnaps her dog to return it later as if it was accidentally found. That no doubt helps Ingrid to get closer to Taylor… but too close that she no longer can be responsible for her already dangerous actions.

I could not believe how awkward it was to watch Ingrid or how she behaves. You obviously can tell that she is not in the right frame of mind. But the hope that it might get better never appears, and that was the terrifying part. Despite the story being told in the movie being fictional, I am quite sure people like Ingrid exist and are even more unpredictable than her. But even knowing that would not help to digest properly everything the co-writer and director Matt Spicer had to offer. It is almost like witnessing a life of someone you would be horrified by knowing that someone lives such a life.

In conclusion, the person who steals the entire movie, and for that should be jailed, is Aubrey Plaza. She not only nails Ingrid, but perfectly captures her in a way would make me wish to yell at her, like asking her to stop what she is doing. Elizabeth Olsen contributes significantly as a perfectionist, a person whose life can be respected and even copied. In the end, there is absolutely nothing to complain about. Ingrid Goes West takes a right direction to land in your heart. It’s funny, has a dark humor, has excellent and ridiculously finny lines, which makes it an absolute joy to watch. This is why, if you by chance see the movie playing in your city, do not skip it. See it. Enjoy it. Because you will! And that I can promise you!

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