Unicorn Store (Edinburgh International Film Festival Review)

Rating:

Sometimes, when we’re young, we believe in something so much that we carry this belief into our adulthood. We believe in it so much that sometimes, it materialises, like, getting married on a beach, climbing a mountain, dancing on stage or owning your very own unicorn. Well, the one might be limited to a small percentage of people including Brie Larson’s character, Kit.

Kit is an artist. She is a dreamer who enjoys living in a multi coloured world. She carries this brightly coloured outlook on life into her art and into her art school class where she is simply not appreciated. Returning home, feeling like a failure, she wallows in self pity before being embarrassed into temping. But no sooner has she started to accept the mundane existence, she starts to receive mysterious letter urging her to visit ‘The Store’ where she can buy what she wants and needs. The Store, is the Unicorn Store, decorated just like Kit’s bedroom, except it also has everything s unicorn needs, with a bonus of Samuel L. Jackson who is the salesman. After being promised a unicorn, Kit has to complete the requirements; build a home worthy of a unicorn, prove she is financial able to take care of a unicorn and finally, create a loving environment. Seems straightforward enough but by trying to complete these tasks, Kit meets and makes new friends, is able to be honest with her parents and she make a presentation that goes above and beyond the call of duty for a vacuum cleaner. It is truly amazing and definitely a highlight of the film.

As Brie Larson’s directorial debut it is a glittery delight and definitely showcases her talent and hopefully future directing. The story is simple and it needs to be if its going to be about a woman trying to get a unicorn. It isn’t over the top and isn’t in the danger zone of quirky either, escaping the manic pixie dream girl taking centre stage too as Kit doesn’t have any friends and actively doesn’t look for a boyfriend to complete her. The story could easily be about growing up, but its not, its understanding what you want. Also, if you don’t believe in unicorns, you really should watch this film, the skeptic in you will be surprised.

Dir: Brie Larson

Scr: Samantha McIntyre

Prd: Lynette Howell Taylor, Paris Kasidokstas-Latsis, Terry Dougas, David Bernad, Ruben Fleischer, Brie Larson

Cast: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Joan Cusack, Bradley Whitford, Karan Soni, Mamoudou Athie, Mary Holland, Hamish Linklater

DoP: Brett Pawlak

Music: Alex Greenwald

Country: USA

Year: 2017

Runtime: 91 minutes