WHERE TO WATCH: NETFLIX
Alison Brie is simply stunning in Horse Girl, which she co-wrote with director Jeff Baena, who is probably most well-known for writing I Heart Huckabees. Brie plays Sarah, a shy young woman who works in an arts and crafts store, who begins to dream of people she then encounters in her everyday life.
As the story unfolds, and Sarah’s family history is revealed, it’s clear that this is a film that either features an unreliable narrator suffering from mental health issues or a reliable one in the throes of something paranormal, and it’s to the movie’s credit that either seems possible, although it is heavily weighted in favour of the former.
The ensemble cast - which includes Molly Shannon, Robin Tunney, Toby Huss, and Paul Reiser – is used to good effect, with so much implied by their performances and behaviour towards Sarah, rather than naked exposition. Sarah’s flights of fantasy (or reality?) are beautifully filmed, and only occasionally ridiculous, and really the only thing holding this movie back from being listed among 2020’s best efforts is its inconclusive ending.
Amongst the metaphor and pathos, it’s Brie’s performance that stands out, though, and the actor seems to be entering a wonderful phase of her career, where she can pick the roles that stretch her, paid for by the odd mainstream outing like 2020’s The Rental. If Brie and Baena can just tighten things up a little, they could make something quite amazing.