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Posts Tagged ‘Aubrey Plaza’

Elizabeth Olsen, Aubrey Plaza

“INGRID GOES WEST” My rating: B

87 minutes | MPAA rating: R

Nobody does nuts like Aubrey Plaza.

Oh, she can play “normal” if required (TV’s Parks and Recreation”), but she really shines when the lets her crazy flag fly, as exemplified by her mental inmate in TV’s “Legion,” her suburban zombie in “Life After Beth” and her scary Medieval nun in the recent “The Hours.”

So Plaza is right at home in “Ingrid Goes West,” writer/director Matt Spicer’s very black comedy about an unhinged celebrity stalker.

As the film begins our heroine crashes a wedding and sprays Mace in the bride’s face.  (We later learn that the two women are strangers, but that Ingrid has been following the nuptial preparations on Instagram and is incensed at not being invited.)

When next we see Ingrid she’s being discharged from a mental facility. Shortly thereafter her mother dies, leaving Ingrid with $60,000.  She decides to relocate to Los Angeles so that she can be closer to a woman she has been obsessing over via social media.

Taylor (Elizabeth Olsen) is a perky, self-centered cutie who has become a celeb by displaying so much of her life on the Internet.  Like a Kardashian, she’s famous mostly for being famous. She has no discernible talents (she might find a gig as a personal shopper, though everything she bought would reflect her tastes rather than those of a client).

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Kate Micucci, Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza

THE LITTLE HOURS” My rating: C+ 

90 minutes | MPAA rating: R

Set in rural Italy in 1347, “The Little Hours” strives for historical accuracy, from the costumes and settings to the musical score beneath the action.

Except, that is, when it comes to dialogue. These 14th-century characters — nuns, priests, noblemen, servants — converse in the most modern of idioms.

They swear like drunken sailors. They employ 20th-century phrases.

It’s the contrast between the visual authenticity and the film’s aural outrageousness that gives “Little Hours” — based on a raunchy story by Boccaccio — its comic oomph.

That and a handful of wickedly funny performances from a remarkably deep roster of players.

Mostly the yarn — written and directed by Jeff Baena, maker of the zombie comedy “Life After Beth” — is set in a convent where the fundamentally decent Mother Superior (Molly Shannon) has her hands full keeping peace among her brood of black-habited and foul- tempered nuns.

The snippiest of the bunch is Sister Fernanda (Aubrey Plaza), a explosively nasty woman with an unblinking death stare and a vocabulary capable of peeling paint.

Her cohort is the clumsy Sister Geneva (Kate Micucci), the convent’s gnomish tattletale, a snoop always eager to inform on her sisters.

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Dane DeHaan and Aubrey Plaza in "Life After Beth"

Dane DeHaan and Aubrey Plaza in “Life After Beth”

“LIFE AFTER BETH”  My rating: C      (Opening Aug. 29 at the ***)

91 minutes | MPAA rating: R

How about a moratorium on zombie movies?  At least until someone comes up with a truly novel way of approaching what is quickly becoming a very worn-out genre?

In “Life After Beth,” small-town doofus Zach (Dane DeHaan) is mourning the death of his girlfriend Beth, who went out for hike one morning and was bitten by a poisonous snake.  As Jeff Baena’s film begins, Zach is dealing with her funeral.

Consumed by heartbreak, our hero starts hanging with Beth’s parents (John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon), sharing memories and bonding through mutual loss. His own family — Mom  (Cheryl Hines), Dad (Paul Reiser) and a trigger-happy security guard sibling (Matthew Gray Gubler) — would just as soon not have  his whiny self around.

One day Beth’s parents start acting strangely. They won’t come to the door. They close the shades.

A bit of sleuthing brings a shocking revelation. Beth (indie “it” girl Aubrey Plaza) has come back. She seems normal…albeit a bit distracted and flaky. But then she always was. How did this resurrection come to be?

Yup. Zombies.

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