Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 8°C


Film review: American Animals is a tragic, haunting and compelling film

PUBLISHED: 15:59 12 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:59 12 September 2018

Jared Abrahamson as Eric Borsuk, Evan Peters as Warren Lipka, Blake Jenner as Chas Allen and Barry Keoghan as Spencer Reinhard. Picture: PA PHOTO/STX INTERNATIONAL/WILSON WEBB

Jared Abrahamson as Eric Borsuk, Evan Peters as Warren Lipka, Blake Jenner as Chas Allen and Barry Keoghan as Spencer Reinhard. Picture: PA PHOTO/STX INTERNATIONAL/WILSON WEBB


Take a look at our review of American Animals which is still in cinemas - have you seen the film? What did you think?

The premise of American Animals - in 2004 four college students attempt to pull off an audacious book heist at the Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky - is one of those ‘so extraordinary it must be true’ stories and forms the basis of Bart Layton’s latest feature.

Similarly to his true-crime documentary The Imposter (2012) and Craig Gillespie’s biopic I, Tonya (2018), Layton revels in blurring the line between fiction and reality, interspersing his gripping, stylised crime drama with interviews with the real-life individuals offering wildly conflicting accounts of the distressing events that took place.

Fascinating and moving as these talking-head style discussions are, it is in the film’s drama that it truly sparks to life.

This is particularly true of its first half, with the gang’s excitement at orchestrating a seeminglingly flawless and victimless crime conveyed through dizzying cinematography, slick editing transitions and humorous exchanges – one delightful sequence sees them draw inspiration from the works of Quentin Tarantino and Jules Dassin.

As the date of the heist draws nearer, these stylistic flourishes are pared back and replaced with an exercise in tightly-wound, knuckle-whitening tension.

Layton and his talented leads – Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Jared Abrahamson and Blake Jenner- capture the very real and dangerous world the protagonists have plunged themselves into and the devastating consequences that face them should they be caught.

It is through this blending of fact and fiction, lightness and dark that Layton has fashioned a tragic, haunting and compelling film.

Acting legend Sir Ian McKellen is touring the region next celebrating his 80th birthday and raising money for regional theatre. Arts editor Andrew Clarke finds out more about this ‘must-see’ event

Ipswich boy and Strictly Come Dancing favourite Robin Windsor explains how wanting to finish at the top of his game and the lure of a permanent natural tan convinced him to waltz into the sunset.

Within minutes of this witty and revealing play starting, you can see what attracted Private Eye’s Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, to write this extraordinary piece of professional biography.

Catching up with the Dreamboys on tour before their Ipswich and Kings Lynn dates, Lynne Mortimer asked them a couple of pertinent questions... oh, and a few frivolous ones too

SAS veteran turned TV star Ant Middleton is coming to Ipswich with his new Mind Over Muscle tour in 2019.

Named one of the best plays of all time for women, this was the right choice and the right time for the company to show it can do straight drama.

Political satire has a long, distinguished history in this country. Arts editor Andrew Clarke spoke to Private Eye’s Ian Hislop and Nick Newman about their new play which shines a spotlight on a publisher who survived three libel trials in three days

A fictional meeting between two towering figures of the 20th century, The Habit of Art comes from the pen of another national treasure – Alan Bennett.

Based on the 1980s film of the same name is the UK musical tour starring Mica Paris, Keith Jack and Jorgie Porter.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24