On something of a whim (thanks to a sudden and aggressive marketing push by MoviePass), I headed over to Union Square to catch a screening of American Animals.
Glad I fought through my jet lag; it’s a remarkable art house oddity, part heist film about the most incompetent robbers to grace the silver screen since Dog Day Afternoon, and part genre-bending documentary in which the interviewees occasionally interact with their fictionalized counterparts in the reenactments. Director Bart Layton has a lot of fun with the unreliability of his subjects, mining both comedy and drama out of the contradictory memories and idealized fantasies surrounding their audacious (and totally botched) art theft. I’d compare American Animals favorably to the equally innovative Tower; it’s rare to find movies of this kind in major cinemas, and I’d love to see that change.
[Originally written June 4, 2018.]