Always Shine is probably the most captivated I’ve ever been by a movie that goes nowhere. The two lead actresses are amazingly talented. Most of the actually horror elements come from the tense dynamic between the two of them, which is an incredible feat in and of itself.
Every single moment these two women interact it feels malicious, even in instances of remorse. There’s tons of influence by David Lynch but not in a way that feels too forced.
I think the main problem with this movie is that it didn’t quite have that level of substance that Lynch’s films have, so they really decided to force an ending. I frankly didn’t really understand the ending nor did I appreciate any aspects of it. They kind of delve away from this idea of the struggling actress and misogyny in Hollywood to surprise us with something somewhat unrelated. There really should have just been more of a story, I don’t think it would have taken away from the performance focused aspects.
While this film fails to live up to its own expectations, I’m impressed by both the acting and by the direction of Sophia Takal; I’ll be looking out for her future projects.