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Always Shine (2016)

Unrated | | Thriller | 25 November 2016 (USA)
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Best friends Anna and Beth take a weekend trip to Big Sur, hopeful to re-establish a bond broken by years of competition and jealousy. Tensions mount, however, leading to an unexpected yet ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Anna
...
Beth
...
Jesse
...
Paul
...
Matt
...
Vic
...
Sandra
...
Summer
Julian Tolentino ...
Jack
Mason Foster ...
Joplin
Stella Foster ...
Stella
Marisa Takal ...
Violet
...
Producer #1
...
Producer #2
Jordan Kessler ...
Director
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Storyline

Best friends Anna and Beth take a weekend trip to Big Sur, hopeful to re-establish a bond broken by years of competition and jealousy. Tensions mount, however, leading to an unexpected yet inevitable confrontation, changing both of their lives...forever.

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Thriller

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Unrated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

25 November 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Zawsze piękna  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$4,211 (USA) (25 November 2016)

Gross:

$11,891 (USA) (2 December 2016)
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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

"It is a woman's birthright to be attractive and charming. In a sense, it is her duty... She is the bowl of flowers on the table of life." -John Robert Powers, Secrets of Poise, Personality and Model Beauty See more »

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RISKY BUSINESS
Written by Nicholas Morey (ASCAP)
Performed by Betamaxx
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User Reviews

 
A psychological thriller with more going on under the surface than most
24 April 2017 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

Two actresses take a break from L.A. and travel to a house in the country, the isolation brings to the surface dark emotions such as jealousy and distrust. Before long, events start to deteriorate badly.

This psychological thriller is one of those which plays around with the concept of the unreliable narrator. At times, we are unsure of what is real and what is not. The introductions to both characters taps into this right away where we have a close-up shot of the actress head on, the first woman is auditioning for a part in front of a group of men, while the second woman is engaging in a heated exchange with a man who is trying to rip her off. This latter sequence tricks you into thinking it too could be an actress reading for a role and the reveal shocks us when we discover it is actually real. The idea of these scenes I guess is to show that women exist essentially in a man's world and have to put up with things men generally do not. So, one of the themes of the film is the pressures society puts on women. In this scenario, these tensions result in two friends going to war with each other. We slowly see little niggles gather momentum and insecurities create space that is filled by negative emotions. Both women are actresses, with one being more successful than the other; I guess you could say the less successful one is the better actress but has been less willing to pander to the will of male producers. Professional jealousies intertwine with all other tensions leading to a dark place.

Acting by both leads, Mackenzie Davis and Caitlin Fitzgerald, is very good, especially Davis whose character ultimately runs the gauntlet of emotional states including assertive, insecure, meek and aggressive. The final act compounds this where there is a fusing of identities and events develop a more dream-like ambiance. It's, overall, a pretty compelling concoction of ideas which I found very involving. You have interesting characters with differing motivations and huge amounts going on under the surface. This results in a narrative which from an early point suggests cracks in the surface and hints at sinister events. As a viewer, you are actively encouraged to piece things together without being spoon-fed the answers. It's, on the whole, a very satisfying combination of a lot of disparate ideas that's comes together to create something really interesting.


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