One of the many films to have its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was the Matt Spicer‘s feature debut, Ingrid Goes West. The film follows Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza), a mentally unstable young woman who becomes obsessed with Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), a social media “influencer” with a seemingly-perfect life. When Ingrid decides to drop everything and move to the West Coast to befriend Taylor in real life, her behavior turns unsettling and increasingly dangerous.
Ingrid Goes West was one of my favorite films at this year’s Sundance because of the smart and surprising script by Spicer and co-writer David Branson Smith (which won the Sundance Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic) and the performances of Aubrey Plaza and O’Shea Jackson Jr. Plaza is fearless in the role and willing to do whatever it takes to sell Ingrid’s instability, and Jackson Jr., who you last saw playing his father Ice Cube in Straight Outta Compton, is both hilarious and extremely charismatic; he’s a natural on screen. I’m confident that, if given the chance, Jackson Jr. can be a movie star. For more on the film, read Adam Chitwood’s review.
A few hours before the film’s world premiere, I got to speak with Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Billy Magnussen, Pom Klementieff and director Matt Spicer. We talked about how the cast was assembled, their characters and how they connect, what the film is about, the impact of social media, and what it’s like being at Sundance. They also played a game I called “Get to Know Your Sundance Attendee” which asks tough questions like drink of choice, how long can you go without looking at your phone, what’s the last TV show you’ve watched that you want to recommend, what do you collect, favorite websites, and a lot more.