This is going to be brief.
I prefer a quiet suspense, where you can’t lay your bets. It’s extremely difficult to share a review on a film I enjoyed like a dirty little secret. I want it to stay mine, but I want others to understand why.
I’d arrived with a five-minute delay from weather and poor navigation, hustled in, then was met with a scene where Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy) is studying with Amanda (Olivia Cooke) out of paid obligation. Amanda is a short-spoken realist. She believes she’s emotionally mute and would rather not waste the time of others. Success-driven Lily has played her role for so long she believes it. From the flat-eyed smile to her clean and trim nails, she reeks of money, drive, and a scary understanding of how to speak to move mountains. Unfortunately for Lily, her day-dream-world receives enough honesty to fracture her carefully built façade. Until they accept their equal attributes, it’s pretty uncomfortable between both girls.
Strength is understood as being physically or mentally capable, but Thoroughbreds proved that it is more than that.
Lily looks as though she’s got it together, when her persona is vapid and her mental health is shaky. She’s struggling to grow and lying to get what she needs. She’d lost her dad and is fighting her desire to spit in Marks face.
Mark (Lily’s stepfather, played by Paul Sparks) says and does things that leaves you uncertain as to where your loyalty lies with almost everyone he interacts with. Part of the time you consider if he’s just paying everyone to be happy, gaslighting each character, or is genuine. You want to believe every outcome. His character was the most mysterious to me, but I found myself loving, hating, and understanding him all in one.
Francie Swift fills the role of Lily’s widowed mother. It’s easy to sympathize with her, considering I know I’d be a basket case losing my husband. Her awareness nearly seems as vapid as Lily’s, however when you’re weighting Mark into everything, there’s no conclusion. Is she paid for to be happy? Did they have money before? Did she miss her late husband (there’s almost nothing about him to her through the film)? Was she wrapping her wounds in the cash that flew in and out of that home? What happened to Lily’s father? What?!
I couldn’t figure enough out to fill my clue card.
Amanda seems to everyone as though she’s “broken” from the get-go, when in actuality her foundation is understood and carries her world without breaking a sweat. She has an appreciation for those who have tried to help her, but when she speaks plainly, I felt lacerated myself.
Amanda’s mother Karen, a smaller role played by Kaili Vernoff, is almost every (healthy) mother. I empathized with the love for her daughter, mixed with worry and uncertainty of her future. She honestly wants the best for Amanda, but was never given the help she needed as a mother.
Tim (Anton Yelchin) fills your typical “weak character” dude, who everyone sees as a fast approaching middle aged failure. He may have once held a future, but he looks like he’ll never amount to anything. All the while, he’s got more pure passion than anyone you see in the film. He believes he will achieve his own dreams. To him, everyone’s idea of who he should be lacks worldly character. Who he yearns and knows he will be is built with his own hands and experience. Sure, he’s still relatively whiny about how unbelievable the people around him behave, but he could care less.
Yelchin did an exceptional job with his role. My heart still aches with our loss of his talent. I believed he would fill extraordinary roles that would stand the test of time. *sips coffee in memoriam*
The scenes were set up nicely, and the picture weight was appealing. I never felt like I had to move, as I was rivetted to my chair and the screen. Only when my leg grew cold from poor circulation did I realize I hadn’t moved for most of the feature.
I would comfortably group Thoroughbreds with Get Out. Maybe there were some obvious parts, or they were delivered so silently that you felt like you knew by the time something happened. Perhaps it was the random but silly and distracting additions they had in the film that snapped you in and out of scene again. When Amanda dials her phone, I wanted to see a landline, not her cell. It stood out stark as it beeped nostalgically.
I felt well fed and satisfied by everything this film offered. I immediately recommended it to some of my select movie buds, and I’ll enjoy watching it quite a few more times over.
I award this film five out of five nerdskulls.
Check out the trailer below.
[youtube id=”TPcV_3D3V2A” width=”620″ height=”360″]
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