‘Ingrid Goes West’ review: Aubrey Plaza takes a dark turn in social media satire

Her character blurs the lines between real-world and digital obsessions.

‘Ingrid Goes West’

Directed by Matt Spicer

Starring Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, O’Shea Jackson Jr.

Rated R

The social media age gets a pinpoint satire in “Ingrid Goes West,” in which the lines separating real-world and digital obsessions become intricately blurred in the form of Aubrey Plaza’s protagonist.

Plaza’s Ingrid Thorburn fixates on a vacuous Southern California Instagram celebrity named Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), and uproots her life, including a cross-country move and a total image rehab, to ingratiate herself with Taylor and her husband Ezra (Wyatt Russell).

This is a perfect part for Plaza’s particular brand of intensity and the star, along with director/co-writer Matt Spicer, navigates difficult terrain in crafting a tone that’s both comic and deeply unsettling.

The movie is pitched at a particular deadpan mode that can grow wearisome, but it plays like a California nightmare ripped directly out of this moment, right now.

The film externalizes this strange and still relatively unfamiliar digital terrain that has dramatically reshaped nothing less than the very nature of modern life.

Robert Levin