Ingrid Goes West

Ingrid Goes West

Aubrey Plaza’s fiercely committed performance nearly rescues this dubious contrivance from absurdity. The drama, directed by Matt Spicer, is the latest entry in the picturesque-mental-illness genre. Plaza plays the title character, a young woman whose violent outbursts lead to a spell in an institution. When Ingrid gets out, instead of receiving therapy and taking medication, she moves to Los Angeles in order to stalk an Instagram celebrity named Taylor (Elizabeth Olsen) and insinuate herself into Taylor’s private life and social-media feeds. Ingrid manipulates Dan (O’Shea Jackson, Jr.), her new neighbor and quasi-landlord, for help with her schemes; indifferent to the pain she causes, Ingrid is speeding toward disaster and determined not to crash alone. Yet Spicer’s empathetic view of Ingrid’s tangle of misery is outweighed by his satirical critique of online stardom, Hollywood hustling, and conspicuous consumption; he presents Ingrid’s maladies as the results of the social ills of the times. The action devolves into wan op-ed commentary. With Billy Magnussen, as Taylor’s dissolute yet deeply loyal brother, and Wyatt Russell, as her trophy boyfriend.

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