6.6/10
144
9 user 12 critic

Animals (2019)

Based on the novel ANIMALS by Emma Jane Unsworth.

Director:

Sophie Hyde
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3,819 ( 1,499)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Holliday Grainger ... Laura
Alia Shawkat ... Tyler
Fra Fee ... Jim
Dermot Murphy ... Marty
Amy Molloy ... Jean
Pat Shortt Pat Shortt ... Bill
Olwen Fouéré ... Maureen
Kwaku Fortune Kwaku Fortune ... Julian
Elva Trill ... Kirsten
Anthony Morris ... Chicken Sandwich
Jamael Westman ... Leo
Muiris Crowley ... The Avant Gardener
Tara Egan Langley Tara Egan Langley ... Wedding Dress Shop Assistant
Ryan Lincoln Ryan Lincoln ... Bar Man
Charlie Maher ... Jake
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Storyline

Based on the novel ANIMALS by Emma Jane Unsworth.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some friendships are wild at heart See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

UK | Australia | Ireland

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 August 2019 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

Dublin, Ireland

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is a Closer Productions and Vico Films co-production, with major production investment from both Screen Australia and the Irish Film Board, in association with both the Adelaide Film Festival and the South Australian Film Corporation. The film was developed by both Closer Productions and Sarah Brocklehurst Productions, with the assistance of both Screen Australia and Creative England. Post production for the film is being handled by Kojo Post in Adelaide, South Australia, whilst Bonsai Films are on board to distribute in both Australia and New Zealand, with Cornerstone Films are handling international sales. See more »

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User Reviews

 
As sponsored by Jacob's Creek.
18 July 2019 | by bob-the-movie-manSee all my reviews

This was another Cineworld Unlimited preview showing, so this film isn't released in the UK until early August (2019).

Laura (Holliday Grainger) and Tyler (Alia Shawkat) are two late twenty-somethings partying their way to an early death through drink, drugs and lack of sleep in Dublin. They are co-habiting best friends, with Laura a hugely unsuccessful part-time novelist and Tyler a barista. But these "professions" are just to fill the day and provide cash (SURELY not enough!?) to fuel their nights.

They are swimming against the current of convention, but when Laura falls for concert pianist Jim (Fra Fee), and 'settling down' starts to look like an option, then this begins to put a terrible strain on their friendship.

I have to admit that I really didn't enjoy this film. I'm sure it's technically very strong - with great cinematography and (at times) thoughtful script. But I had absolutely no empathy with any of the characters involved. They were driftless individuals leading vacuous hedonistic lives. I just wanted to shake them by the shoulders and shout in their faces "Are you going to be happy with what you've done in your life on your death bed?"

I often talk about "story arcs" in my blog. For example, the "man in a hole" story arc is "happy-sad-happy" through the film. The story arc of this film is "miserable unpleasant people feeling wretched, then slightly less wretched, then wretched again". It was just not a winning formula for me.

I see that the film is described on imdb as a "comedy drama". I think they are shooting for sort of a female version of "Withnail and I". But, to be honest, while there were a few funny lines that raised a smile, I don't think it was funny enough to merit that description. I certainly didn't remotely agree with the "Hilarious" quote on the poster.

Honest to God, I don't think there is a single frame of this film where there is not wine being poured or drugs being snorted. "You drink with a real sense of mortality", dodgy poet Marty (Dermot Murphy) tells Laura. (This is a great line from scriptwriter Emma Jane Unsworth's script). I can't find what the budget of this film was, but it wouldn't surprise me if 80% of it wasn't spent on bottles of Jacob's Creek. I expected to see a "wine wrangler" listed in the end titles.

It's not a great example to set for young people for sure, and it well deserves its UK15 certificate. With its drug taking, heavy drinking and casual (and morally bankrupt) sex, if I was on the BBFC I would have be lobbying for an 18 certificate.

In terms of the cast, Holliday Grainger is excellent and believable in the role of the aimless drifter suddenly finding an anchor. Another really great performance. Equally good is Alia Shawkat, an actress unknown to me. She gets across brilliantly the desperation of a lost soul losing her soulmate. (I just had trouble separating her character in my mind from Rizzo in "Grease". If they ever remake that film, she would be a shoe-in for the role made famous by Stockard Channing.) By the way, if you're trying to pin down where you've seen Fra Fee's striking features before (it was bugging me) he played the part of Courfeyrac in the film version of "Les Miserables".

Made by Sophie Hyde it's an interesting and well made film. As such, I don't want to give it a savage rating. Many may enjoy it. I personally didn't, and wouldn't watch it again. The primary benefit I got from seeing it was again registering Holliday Grainger as an acting force that I will watch out for in future films.

(For the full graphical review, please check out One Mann's Movies on t'internet or Facebook. Thanks. )


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