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Movie of the Day: Ingrid Goes West (2017)

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What Is It?

A mentally unstable young woman (Aubrey Plaza) develops an unhealthy attachment to a social media “influencer” (Elizabeth Olsen). When she sets out to befriend the object of her obsession, the plan spirals out of control.

What’s Cool About It?

Social media is like our lives now. Film and TV have been late to the party, probably because most of the projects that tried to tackle the subject before this one were written and directed by people who didn’t grow up in the world of it but filtered it through their kids and news reports. Ingrid Goes West succeeds as a satire of the shallowness of social media culture that also acknowledges its power over our daily existence. It’s easy to make fun of pretty people who post their lives online, but it’s a harder task to examine the dark side of social media culture without getting preachy. It also features compelling performances not just from Plaza, but also from Olsen and supporting actors Wyatt Russell and O’Shea Jackson Jr., all of whom grew up in the shadow of much more famous family members.

If I’m Addicted to the ‘Gram, Will I Be Offended?

Ingrid Goes West tells an unusual story that’s kind of an All About Eve for the digital age with elements of Single White Female. Director Matt Spicer walks a fine line with the movie’s tone, alternating between biting comedy, discomforting suspense and melodrama. Ingrid’s character is in some ways relatable, but in many other ways she’s an extreme version of the average social media addict. This film probably won’t change your life, but it may make you question what’s happening on the other end of all those likes.

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