Small Screen Reviews
American Animals Review
What’s It About?
Four young students attempt to steal some priceless books from the library at Kentucky University in this true story.
Who’s In It?
Evan Peters (American Horror Story, Kick Ass, & more recently X-Men: Apocalypse)
Barry Keoghan (’71, Dunkirk, & more recently The Killing Of A Sacred Deer)
Other notables include:
Blake Jenner (Glee, The Edge Of Seventeen, Everybody Wants Some!)
Ann Dowd (The Leftovers, Hereditary, & more recently The Handmaid’s Tale)
Director: Bart Layton (The Imposter)
Director Bart Layton shot to prominence with his impressive documentary The Imposter back in 2012. This time round, he has once again taken on a true story, blurring the different versions of events from the different characters involved, and splicing a narrative style with some documentary aspects.
Sounds odd? Well it may do, but somehow it all works seamlessly and even adds to the drama of the story.
The film focuses on the planning and attempted robbery of several rare and priceless manuscripts and books from the library of the University of Kentucky by four college students. The plot follows the nucleus of the idea, the preparation undertaken through model making and brushing up on classic heist movies, followed by the execution, and this is overlaid with interviews with the real perpetrators of the crime, which certainly adds insight into the different personalities of the gang.
Evan Peters and Barry Keoghan give sublime performances as the architects of the heist – one full of daring and charisma, the other much more careful and introspective – and the pairing of the two is an absolute delight on screen.
They are given solid support from their two accomplices in the form of Blake Jenner and Jared Abrahamson, while Ann Dowd impresses, as usual, as the librarian caught up in the middle of it all.
In A Nutshell:
A stylish, fascinating, enthralling and at times disturbing film, with first rate central performances.
Release date: 14/01/2019