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Star Alison Brie, who also co-wrote the film alongside her “Little Hours” director, turns in her best big screen performance yet, imbuing her Sarah with a compelling sweetness, and selling both her awkwardness and kindness in equal measure, keeping the film afloat when it makes more baffling leaps. The title of Horse Girl suggests a quirky indie film about a quiet girl who loves horses, and for the first 20 minutes or so, that’s true. REVIEW: Jeff Beana’s HORSE GIRL is a major step-up for the filmmaker, following his reliably silly Sundance entries THE LITTLE HOURS and LIFE AFTER BETH (alongside the underrated mumblecore-esque JOSHY). madness? genetics?
“Horse Girl” premiered in the Premieres section of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

He lives in the Chicago suburbs. All movie titles, pictures, etc... are registered trademarks and/or copyrights of their respective holders, Dedicated hosting provided by NEXCESS.NET Web Hosting, Website Design & Development by Face3 Media. Netflix will release it on February 7. And for much of Horse Girl, you’re left wondering if maybe she has. Initially playing out as something of a gender-bent “Napoleon Dynamite,” the first 20 minutes of Jeff Baena’s “Horse Girl” lean into a quirky character study before tipping into unexpectedly darker spaces. It feels unusually honest – given that these types of movies always have big climaxes while in real life such an illness waxes and wanes. Brie expanded on her own family history with trauma and how she used that to inform this story in a featurette released by Netflix. Sarah’s mother and grandmother experienced serious mental health struggles, and Sarah is worried that she’s going to slip into the same delusions.
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It never settles into either. Sign up for our Email Newsletters here. What it’s about: Brie co-wrote the screenplay for Horse Girl with the film’s director Jeff Baena, based partly on her own experiences with mental health issues in her family. She works in an arts supply store, wears a washed-out blue smock and knows way too much about crafting materials — paint consistencies, the ideal shape for agates and how to make a brightly colored lanyard to braid into your horse’s mane. Beana does something interesting by taking us right into Sarah’s mindset. Horse Girl – Marketing Recap How Netflix is selling a psychological thriller revolving around mental illness. Sarah is shown in extreme closeup on the only poster (by marketing agency InSync Plus). That’s when she’s not pining over her former horse, which was sold out from under her after her wealthy step-father (Paul Reiser- in a small but surprisingly sympathetic role) left the family in the wake of her mom’s breakdown. How to watch it: Horse Girl is streaming on Netflix.

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At times, DP Sean McElwee’s photography can feel anonymously bland, but its prosaic register has a point, bedding even the most outrageous of Sarah’s visions and dreamstates into reality. Millions rely on Vox’s explainers to understand an increasingly chaotic world.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Unique perspectives on movie marketing, film reviews and much more. Cobbling together internet conspiracies, “Purgatory” plotlines, a hazy knowledge of her family history and a grandmother to whom she bears a striking resemblance, Sarah becomes increasingly paranoid, babbling about clones and aliens and time loops and “immortal alchemists” to co-worker Joan (Shannon), to stepfather Gary (Paul Reiser), to Darren — to anyone who’ll listen.

Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Sundance Film Festival 2020: movie reviews and news, In Netflix’s Dick Johnson Is Dead, a father and daughter imagine his death with humor and love, One Good Thing: This animated miniseries perfectly captures the loneliness of autumn, SNL takes on dueling Trump and Biden town halls in its cold open. But most of the credit for our intimate identification with the confusion and terror and occasional bliss of Sarah’s devolving condition has to go to Brie, who co-wrote the screenplay with Baena and whose totally inhabited performance grants us such uncomfortably close access to the lived experience of delusional paranoia. Sarah, a socially isolated woman with a fondness for arts and crafts, horses, and supernatural crime shows finds her increasingly lucid dreams trickling into her waking life.

Yet Sarah’s descent into — what?

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At Variety, Jessica Kiang writes, “The transgressiveness of Baena and Brie’s strange and sorrowful Horse Girl, is in how it turns the simplistic, inauthentic tweeness of the generic, quirky indie comedy in on itself to produce a rare and piercingly compassionate exploration of the sorts of madness that come from intense loneliness, and the intense loneliness that comes from being regarded as mad.”. The setup is such a convincing red herring though, that for a while it functions just fine as your standard offbeat dramedy, laden with oddball characters and quirky situations and Molly Shannon. It would have been great to see Netflix give this a bit more attention, but it seems that with so much else going on, especially given this is Oscars weekend, it just got pushed out with a minimal amount of effort and fanfare. Brie was interviewed about developing the story and what kind of reaction she hoped it would have while at Sundance. Brie has said that the film is based on her own experiences with mental health, and that the inclusion of stories about Sarah’s grandmother and mother are purposely built in to better reflect her own life. Alison Brie stars in and cowrote with director Jeff Baena the new movie Horse Girl .

Brie’s delicate performance nearly rescues both Sarah and “Horse Girl” from falling into the awkward traps it sets for itself, hedging on the tough stuff in favor of weirdness for its own sake, faux-arty style over anything that could offer the slightest interest in healing, for either its star or her story.

Get our newsletter in your inbox twice a week. From the start, we know she’s an oddball, spending all of her nights at home obsessing over a cheesy drama called PURGATORY (with real-life procedural vets Robin Tunney and Matthew Gray Gubler as the stars of the show within the movie). Not so fast. She has strange prophetic dreams that feature people she has not met yet but soon will, like local plumber Ron (John Ortiz) and a troubled young woman who believes she has woken up in the wrong decade (Dylan Gelula). There’s lingering trauma in Sarah’s life, some delivered bluntly (she visits her mom’s grave, talks about her death with her stepdad, and then the film still insists on showing a flashback to it) and some more gracefully (her affection for a disabled friend, a restrained Meredith Hagner, is among the film’s loveliest inclusions). Directed by Jeff Baena. Summaries Sarah, a socially isolated woman with a fondness for arts and crafts, horses, and supernatural crime shows finds her increasingly lucid dreams trickling into her waking life.

Sign up for the Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist with over 15 years of experience in online strategy and content marketing. And when I say trippy, I mean it! Change ). This Article is related to: Film, Reviews and tagged Alison Brie, Horse Girl, Jeff Baena, Reviews, Sundance.

It certainly provides Brie with a meaty, character-driven role that allows her to stretch and is the kind of solid indie one hopes Netflix keeps making. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window), Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) – Marketing Recap, Netflix Doesn’t Want Ad Revenue; It’s After Something More Valuable, Everything I Know I Learned At the Movies, The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Marketing Recap, The Forty-Year Old Version – Marketing Recap. Sarah is a lonely young woman who makes up for her social discomfort by trying a little too hard, smiling a little too broadly. There are numerous scenes, accompanied by a dreamy synth score, of her interacting with her favorite horse Willow, or watching her favorite supernatural crime show “Purgatory,” or visiting her mother’s grave. And that behavior may be increasingly erratic and violent, leading to a potential break.

( Log Out /  Skip to content. It’s the point at which the movie stops being cute, and starts being good. Josiah Steinbrick and Jeremy Zuckerman turning other-wordly and synthy. That mirrors her own experiences: confusion, disorientation, paranoia, and the feeling of losing time. Cinemastream is Vox’s series highlighting the most notable of these premieres, in an ongoing effort to keep interesting and easily accessible new films on your radar.

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