Laura and Tyler are a team like no other, living a wild and extravagant life, constantly pushing away tradition and questioning whether the party ever has to end. But as they stumble into their 30s, Laura begins to crave more than drink, drugs and the 24-hour parties. Realising that she has been stuck in a rut, trying to write a novel for 10 years but having gotten nowhere, her focus begins to shift, causing friction in their friendship.
Sophie Hyde’s latest film Animals, adapted from Emma Jane Unsworth’s 2014 acclaimed novel by the same name, is a fascinating and honest portrait of modern friendship with Holliday Grainger (Tell It To The Bees) and Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) brilliantly paired as the leading duo. Grainger is riveting as Laura, a woman lost in her own world, stuck between the crazy life she has been living with Tyler and the domesticated one that her new fiancé Jim (Fra Fee) promises. Soon the realities of life begin to catch up with her. Having felt stuck for motivation and inspiration, she is transported by Jim, a handsome pianist, who shows her that hard work and disciple may be the key to her success.
Shawkat’s Tyler is bold and uncompromising, a best friend who’s not afraid to call you out when you go wrong, and is content with the vibrant life that she and Laura have together. But the anger and tension that stems from Laura’s changing way of life are palpable, bringing out frank and harsh realities of their friendship. This is not a film that wants you to love its characters, but one that wants you to see the truth behind them. It is their failings that gives this film real integrity. We are made to feel a part of their world and the truth that it is built on, being brought into the film in a heady, fast pace opening sequence, introducing us to the intimate life of the central pairing.
Unashamedly boisterous, dark and decadent, Animals is a glorious celebration of modern female friendships which doesn’t shy away from showing us how the choices we make, whether good, bad or ugly, shape the world we live in.Find your cinema and book tickets