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REVIEW: Horse Girl (2020)

Jeff Baena's well-intentioned but ultimately clumsy look at mental health is arguably the sort of film that Netflix make too many of - independent features that offer more quirk than substance.

Horse Girl reminded me of Samantha McIntyre's Unicorn Store (2018), predominantly because its narrative doesn't do justice to the performance of its lead actor. Like Brie Larson in the latter feature, Alison Brie is excellent here. Her performance is a seamless blend of manic anxiety and understated insecurity, one that does justice to the film's subject of interest. Anyone who has seen Brie in Mad Men and GLOW will be unsurprised by this, though this is arguably her best work to date.

What a shame it is then that so much of her turn is overshadowed by an unsteady screenplay which never manages to establish a clear tone or sense of purpose, instead leaping from one psychedelic episode to the next.

As is so often the case with this sort of fare, it all looks pretty but doesn't say an awful lot. Which, given the prevalence of mental health issues in modern society and Netflix's power as a platform, is an awful shame.

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