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The Pretty One

  • Film
  • 3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Zoe Kazan has great resources of naïveté—not to be confused with her own. On Broadway, on TV and in movies (most notably 2009’s The Exploding Girl), she pops out from the rest of her cast, her wide eyes and freshness revealing a churning interiority. For Jenée LaMarque’s indie feature debut (from the director’s own highly prized script), Kazan plays twin sisters Audrey and Laurel, the former a city girl, the latter a country mouse. When they’re involved in a fatal car accident, the shy one secretly assumes her sib’s wilder identity, but anyone should notice how uncomfortable she is.

LaMarque foregrounds her scenario’s awkwardness—it never quite feels like a comedy—and the pair of male suitors she brings in (Jake Johnson and Ron Livingston) are, refreshingly, as unfixed as her main character. But you still wish Kazan had more to work with. Laurel emerges from her shell into a more grounded person (yawn), yet the alternative movie, about a golden girl forced to reckon with a deeper, quieter loss, is precisely the challenge Kazan needs to kick things up a notch.

Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf

Written by Joshua Rothkopf

Cast and crew

  • Director:Jenée LaMarque
  • Screenwriter:Jenée LaMarque
  • Cast:
    • Zoe Kazan
    • Ron Livingston
    • Jake Johnson
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