Poke The Bear (Film Thoughts: Black Bear)

Aubrey Plaza has proven again that she is the Queen. In ‘Happiest Season’ she had such a magnetic impression that I along with everyone else wanted her character to end up with Kristin Stewart’s. And now, in Laurence Michael Levine’s ‘Black Bear’ she proves to be such a formidable actress that she makes the movie. I don’t know if it would have been as successful without her.

The film feels like a tricky puzzle. In the first half, we see a straightforward narrative about an actress/director who hires a cabin int he woods, a share-type situation with a young couple. Then things go awry. The second half turns totally meta, and for me to say anything else will ruin everything. Trust me – the less you know about the movie going in, the better.

It’s all a bit tricky, and to be honest with you, I don’t know if I fully understood everything that went on in the film. But maybe we weren’t meant to. The film is anchored by Plaza’s performance as Allison – she is sly and slithering but also vulnerable and needy. Again to say more would ruin it. I am now more than wager to follow Plaza’s next acting choices.

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