A filmmaker at a creative impasse seeks solace from her tumultuous past at a rural retreat, only to find that the woods summon her inner demons in intense and surprising ways.
“Black Bear,” a twisty dramatic thriller starring Aubrey Plaza, Sarah Gadon, and Christopher Abbott, arrives in theaters (where possible) and on demand, Friday, Dec. 4. Writer and director Lawrence Michael Levine gives us an intense look at the psychology of jealousy as it spills over into the work life of its main character, Allison (Plaza), a famous screenwriter who arrives at a remote retreat run by the husband and wife team Blair (Gadon) and Gabe (Abbott).
There’s an edge to the atmosphere as Allison arrives at the retreat, initially greeted by Gabe. The awkwardness between the two is the first red flag that we are in for a searing time, particularly as the perky Blair cuts into the scene complimenting Allison at every turn. It’s one of those moments that we’ve all experienced as we try to put our best foot forward—even when it’s not really who we are.
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3 1/2 stars