CIFF Review: American Animals

I have to say that this was one of my favorite films. It is a true story that is part documentary and acting which blends so intricately with each other.

It’s about four young guys in Lexington, Kentucky that came up with a plan to steal some very famous art books from a local college library that one of the students attends. Spencer is an artist who feels that he needs something life-changing to make him better. He tells his friend Warren, who is the most obnoxious and hilarious in the group, about his desire for a life-altering experience. Spencer jokingly comes up with the idea after taking a tour with his class to a private area in the library that holds one of the oldest art books in history. Warren decides that they were going to plan the greatest heist of all time.

Photo coutesy of the Cleveland International Film Festival

Photo coutesy of the Cleveland International Film Festival

This film was exhilarating. I felt anxious to see if they could carry out the plan like in Ocean’s 11 and I laughed hysterically when they made really bad decisions that are typical of college students. It was a truly terrible idea and yet I found myself rooting for them.

The film takes a turn that I wasn’t expecting, Reality became the larger voice of reason. Despite the outcome, the choices that these young men make, good and bad, shape their future. It truly was a laugh out loud and heart-gripping film. It’s no wonder that it was a favorite at the Sundance Film Festival.  

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