Thoroughbreds: LFF Film Review

I had to check out Thoroughbreds because I think Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy are two of the most promising actresses coming up in Hollywood, and this movie only solidified that for me.

Cooke is Amanda, who is unable to feel emotions and is the talk of her upper class community in Connecticut as she is facing an animal cruelty investigation over how she killed her horse. Her mum pays her to be tutored by Lily (Taylor-Joy) in the hope that they’ll become friends again, and during this time Lily reveals she wants to kill her stepfather Mark (Paul Sparks) as he’s planning to sending her to a different boarding school.

The dialogue is razor-sharp, often fast-paced, and a delight to listen to. The characters play off of each other so well, and it becomes even better when they rope local drug dealer Tim (the late Anton Yelchin) into their plans. It is pretty dark and twisted and they are quite evil girls but it is also very funny and I love how it all goes down.

Taylor-Joy is best known for launching her career with horror and thrillers and Lily seemed like a new kind of character for her on the surface – she is immaculate, poised, fake nice and obviously wealthy – but it descends back into her usual territory at the very end. Still, it was great to see her doing something different, while Cooke’s part was worlds away from the character she just played in The Limehouse Golem. Yelchin is always excellent and it’s bittersweet to see him onscreen.

The ending is not at all what I expected, and certainly darker and bloodier than I imagined, but it shows just how bold and fearless this movie is.

Screening as part of the 61st BFI London Film Festival. Set for UK release in March 2018 

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