Review: ‘Imagine I’m Beautiful’

By: Makia Martin

Written By: Naomi McDougall Jones
Directed By: Meredith Edwards
Starring: Naomi McDougall Jones, Katie Morrison, Jan Kutrzeba, Lucas Salvagno

Screening in Toronto at The Carlton Theatre & The Kingsway Theatre – November 7-13, 2014

Lana: When you see a photo of someone, you can kind of tell who they are.
Kate: So why do you need a photo of yourself?

Today’s movie world seems to be dominated by IMAX blockbusters and big budget franchises. It seems like every day the entertainment sites are throwing out the word “Remake” and “Sequel”. Now, don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with this. I’d be the first person in the theater on opening weekend for these blockbusters and it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll catch me fangirling over most sequels. When I saw the trailer for ‘Imagine I’m Beautiful’, that exchange between Lana and Katie lured me in and grabbed me. There were no bells and whistles in the trailer. Nothing that screams, “Remake for a new generation!” Nope. It just seemed like an inventive narrative that wanted to get back to the simple art of storytelling.

Imagine_Im_Beautiful_PosterIn “Imagine I’m Beautiful”, Lana, after the shattering suicide of her mother, moves to New York City for an adventurous new start. There she meets her tormented roommate Kate. After a rough beginning, the two develop and close friendship, helping each repair the damage weighing on them. As the story goes on, questions arise and discoveries are made, quickly putting a snag in their bond. Who are these women?

There are many wonderful components of this film but, the one that gave me pause was the acting. Making acting look effortless is not an easy task but Jones and Morrison conquered the challenge. They were both captivating and both carried the film beautifully. That could honestly be said for the whole cast. Each person from lead actor to day player was amazing and added a pleasurable dynamic to the film. A film is only as good as it’s team and I felt that the key elements including sound, editing, lighting, cinematography and directing came together seamlessly, guiding us through the arc of the story without drawing it out. Each scene had a purpose and didn’t feel like just a filler.

I don’t believe you have to imagine anything at all. This film is impressively fascinating, bold, and cunning. It’s hard to decide what more to explain about the plot without giving anything away. I can say that this movie is packed with enough twists, turns and teases to fully earn its Psychological Drama stamp. It made me think, reevaluate and stayed with me for days after. I love films like that! It’s what art is supposed to do, right? I found that refreshing and well…. Beautiful.

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