Ingrid Goes West
Ingrid Goes West is a 2017 American black comedy-drama film directed by Matt Spicer and written by Spicer and David Branson Smith. The film stars Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, Billy Magnussen, Wyatt Russell, Pom Klementieff and O'Shea Jackson Jr. and follows a young woman who moves to Los Angeles in an effort to befriend her Instagram idol.
|Ingrid Goes West|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Matt Spicer|
|Edited by||Jack Price|
|Box office||$3.3 million|
The film premiered in competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. It was released in limited theaters in the United States on August 11, 2017 by Neon, grossing $3 million. The film received positive reviews, with many praising the script, dark themes, humor, and performances.
Ingrid Thorburn is a mentally unstable young woman in Pennsylvania. After discovering on Instagram that an unrequited friend of hers named Charlotte did not invite her to her wedding, Ingrid crashes the reception and pepper sprays her in the face. Ingrid undergoes a brief stay at a mental hospital.
After being released, Ingrid learns of a social media influencer named Taylor Sloane while reading a magazine article. Beguiled by her seemingly perfect life, Ingrid comments on one of her photographs and receives a slight response from Sloane. With an inheritance of over $60,000 from her deceased mother, Ingrid decides to move to Los Angeles to become friends with Taylor. Upon arrival, she rents a house in Venice from Dan Pinto, an aspiring screenwriter. She visits Taylor's regular hangouts and restaurants, and gets a makeover in her style.
After running into Taylor at one of her favorite book stores, Ingrid follows her to her house and kidnaps her dog Rothko. She returns Rothko to Taylor, officially meeting her and her husband Ezra. Ingrid accepts their offer to stay for dinner, where they become acquainted. The next day, Ingrid borrows Dan's truck to help Taylor move some items to her home in Joshua Tree, promising she'll return it to him that evening. She lies and tells Taylor that the truck belongs to her boyfriend. They stay out late and party and on the way home, Ingrid damages Dan's truck while driving under the influence. She returns it the following morning, causing Dan to miss the table read of his screenplay that was scheduled for the previous night.
Ingrid's friendship with Taylor continues to grow over the next period, as they begin to regularly hang out at galleries, restaurants and shops. After a while, Ingrid arrives at Taylor and Ezra's house and unexpectedly meets Taylor's brother Nicky, a recovering drug addict. Taylor dismisses her previous plans with Ingrid to attend a party with Nicky, furthering Ingrid's disdain for him. Taylor and Nicky tease Ingrid about her imaginary boyfriend Dan, who they've never met. They invite Ingrid to a party that weekend at fashion blogger Harley Chung's house and tell her to bring Dan.
Ingrid apologizes to Dan for wrecking his truck, promising to reimburse him and take him out to dinner. Later that night, after bonding over their past losses, the two have sex and begin a relationship. Ingrid invites Dan to the party at Harley Chung's and asks him to tell everyone that he's her boyfriend. Once there, Ingrid becomes envious of Taylor and Harley's friendship. Ingrid also begins to realize that several aspects of Taylor's persona are fabricated. Nicky finds Ingrid's phone with incriminating photographs that reveal her obsession with Taylor. He blackmails her for money. As retaliation, Ingrid devises a plan to feign domestic abuse and blame Nicky. Telling Dan that Nicky beat her, she begs him to not tell the police in fear of what Nicky may do to him; she instead convinces him to kidnap and terrorize Nicky to keep him quiet. Nicky escapes his bindings and attacks Dan, leading Ingrid to attack Nicky with a crowbar. After Dan is hospitalized, Ingrid tries to call Taylor, but Ezra answers and tells Ingrid that Nicky has told them what happened. He relates that Taylor does not want to hear from Ingrid again and that she would have been arrested if Nicky had not been trying to hide his own crimes.
Desperate, Ingrid moves into the small house next door to Taylor, using the last of her inheritance. Unable to pay the bills, she eventually loses power at the house. After noticing a nearby Halloween party at Taylor's house, she dons a bed sheet and wig and crashes the party to charge her cellphone. When discovered, Ingrid berates Nicky, Ezra, and Taylor. Taylor responds by saying that because of her façade, the two were never truly friends, and suggests Ingrid seeks professional help. Bereft, Ingrid retreats to her home surrounded by lit candles and records a video for her Instagram page, confessing her loneliness before overdosing on pills.
Ingrid survives the suicide attempt because Dan called emergency services. She wakes in the hospital to learn that her video has gone viral, and thousands of strangers have responded to her hashtag #iamingrid to show support. Feeling loved, Ingrid smiles.
- Aubrey Plaza as Ingrid Thorburn, a mentally unstable woman with attachment issues, obsessed with social media.
- Elizabeth Olsen as Taylor Sloane, a popular, narcissistic social media influencer with whom Ingrid becomes obsessed.
- O'Shea Jackson Jr. as Dan Pinto, an aspiring screenwriter and Ingrid's landlord who falls in love with her.
- Wyatt Russell as Ezra O'Keefe, a painter and Taylor's husband.
- Billy Magnussen as Nicky Sloane, a recovering drug addict and Taylor's brother.
- Pom Klementieff as Harley Chung, a fashion blogger.
- Hannah Utt as Nicole
- Joseph Breen as Garth Lafayette
- Angelica Amor as Cindy
- Meredith Kathleen Hagner as Charlotte Buckwald, a woman Ingrid forms a one-sided friendship with.
- Charlie Wright as Chuck
- Dennis Atlas as Buck
Principal photography began on July 11, 2016 in Los Angeles and wrapped August 12, 2016 in Joshua Tree, California. A focal point of the film is "All My Life" by K-Ci & JoJo; initially this song was meant to be Seal's "Kiss from a Rose" (which would have tied into the Dan character's Batman obsession, as it's from the Batman Forever soundtrack), but Seal's asking price for the song was higher than the production could afford. Spicer's sister recommended "All My Life" as a replacement.
Ingrid Goes West had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2017. Shortly after, Neon acquired the North American distribution rights to the film. The film was released on August 11, 2017.
Following several weeks in limited release, the film went wide on August 25, 2017 and made a total gross of $3,019,057 from 647 theaters, an average of $1,208 per venue.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 85% based on 158 reviews, with an average rating of 7.1/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Led by strong performances from Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen, Ingrid Goes West delivers smart, topical humor underlined by timely social observations." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 71 out of 100, based on 39 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result||Ref.|
|Sundance Film Festival||January 28, 2017||Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award||David Branson Smith and Matt Spicer||Won|||
|Deauville American Film Festival||September 8, 2017||Grand Prix||Matt Spicer||Nominated|||
|Florida Film Critics Circle||December 23, 2017||Best First Film||Ingrid Goes West||Nominated|||
|Austin Film Critics Association||January 8, 2018||Best First Film||Ingrid Goes West||Nominated|||
|Guild of Music Supervisors Awards||February 8, 2018||Best Music Supervision for Film: Budgeted Under 5 Million Dollars||Maggie Phillips||Nominated|||
|Online Film & Television Association||February 18, 2018||Best Feature Debut||Matt Spicer||Nominated|||
|Independent Spirit Awards||March 3, 2018||Best First Feature||Ingrid Goes West||Won|||
|Best First Screenplay||David Branson Smith and Matt Spicer||Nominated|
|Chlotrudis Awards||March 18, 2018||Best Actress||Aubrey Plaza||Nominated|||
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