Ingrid Goes West

Winner of the screenwriting award at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, Ingrid Goes West is a dark comedy that glimpses into the societal ills associated with the rise of social networking like Facebook and Instagram. Ingrid Thorburn, played by the terrific Aubrey Plaza, is a mentally disturbed young woman who just lost her mother and is put in a mental hospital after stalking somebody on Instagram that she falsely believes is her friend in real life. After being released from the mental hospital, she decides to change her life and moves to Los Angeles in hopes of a better life. However, she becomes obsessed with an Instagram star named Taylor Sloane, played by the brilliant young actress Elizabeth Olsen, and she forces her way into a friendship with Taylor under false pretenses. A perpetual liar who is fully engrossed with being liked by popular society, especially on Instagram, Ingrid does whatever she can to impress Taylor and her cool friends. At the same time, she develops a relationship with her young black landlord Dan Pinto, played by O’Shea Jackson Jr. best known for his role as Ice Cube in 2015’s Straight Outta Compton. With the arrival of Taylor’s arrogant and obnoxious brother Nicky, Ingrid begins to lose favor with Taylor. Eventually, Ingrid’s sketchy past and questionable friendship with Taylor comes back to haunt Ingrid and possibly destroy her already fragile life. Overall, I found it to be an extremely incisive study of the problems perpetuated by the millennial generation oversaturated by social media and shows how today’s heightened societal pressures affect the mental well-being of individuals. In addition to its important social messages, the film itself can be highly entertaining and is especially well-crafted with excellent writing and acting performances. 

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