SFFL 2019: Animals
Starring: Holliday Grainger, Alia Shawkat
Duration: 109 min
European premiere. Presented in association with Time Out.
Would-be writer Laura (Holliday Grainger) and her free-spirited bestie Tyler (Alia Shawkat) share a messy Dublin apartment and a hearty appetite for booze, Molly and one-night stands. Yet when Laura falls for Jim (Fra Fee), a charming but straitlaced classical pianist, Tyler worries that the party may soon be over.
Adapted by Emma Jane Unsworth from her acclaimed 2014 novel of the same name, Animals explores the long hangover between adolescence and adulthood through a bittersweet tale of two friends growing up and growing apart. Sophie Hyde, whose debut feature, 52 Tuesdays, won a best directing award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, takes a refreshingly non-judgmental look at this fraught friendship, following Laura and Tyler through their hedonistic highs and soul-searching lows. Shawkat’s live-wire performance gives Tyler an anarchic comic edge that perfectly complements Grainger’s soulful turn as the conflicted and creatively blocked Laura. The duo are supported by a stellar cast, including Dermot Murphy as a dreamy, drug-addled suitor and Amy Molloy as Grainger’s weary but loving sister.
Director Sophie Hyde will be in attendance.