Director: Leah Meyerhoff
Starring: Natalia Dyer, Peter Vack, Julia Garner, Amy Seimetz
The thing that really drew me towards ‘I Believe In Unicorns’ is the title. It’s intriguing. Funny how something so simple as a title can still lure you in like that. Besides the unusual title, I was also interested in the plot. This sounded like a film which would be interesting and unique. With that being said, I am extremely proud to say that ‘I Believe In Unicorns’ is exactly that; it is interesting and it is very unique.
Starring Natalia Dyer as Davina and Peter Vack as Sterling – and directed by Leah Meyerhoff – ‘I Believe In Unicorns’ tells a story of young love. Though what makes this particular film different is how it goes about telling us said tale. We not only see the upsides, but we see the dreaded downsides too.
Davina is a teen girl, age not specified. She’s innocent, fragile. She, like most people, has unrealistic expectations when it comes to dating. Sterling is a teen boy, age not specified. He is not innocent, not fragile. He, like most people, has a mental instability. The two of them meet and fall in love almost instantly. Bored with where she is in life, Davina asks Sterling if he would like to “go anywhere but here”. Sterling agrees and they run away together.
One of the many things I like about ‘I Believe In Unicorns’ is how it approaches storytelling and how it deals with its subject matter so delicately. Alongside that, I also like how it’s shot in a dreamlike frame. Needless to say, it’s beautiful. Just downright gorgeous to look at; cinematographer Jarin Blaschke is one to look out for, trust me. I can’t say much about the dialogue because it is somewhat infrequent, but what is there is some powerful stuff. It’s natural. Believable. Realistic. But the dialogue would be nothing if it wasn’t for the incredible acting talents of Dyer and Vack, who deliver stellar performances. Basically, almost everything about ‘I Believe In Unicorns’ is nothing short of outstanding.
With that being said, there are a few minor problems – and one major problem – I have with ‘I Believe In Unicorns’. The major problem I have about this film – or more the film industry – is that it’s only screening in North America, as of right now. That’s a shame because people need to see this. It’s not only a great film, but it’s also an important one. Also, at times, the film is guilty of being slightly pretentious. Not to mention that in the early stages – when the pair first start falling for each other – it takes the typical, clichéd route. Plus, not everything is fully explained which means it’s up to your own interpretation of what happens. Not always a bad thing, but in this case, one scene in particular is so abstract that I had to ask the director herself what the implication of that said scene was. This occasional lack of clarity might slightly irritate some, as it did me.
‘I Believe In Unicorns’ has quickly become a favourite of mine. It carries bold messages, it’s a treat to look at and the acting is superb. If you’re lucky enough to find a way to watch ‘I Believe In Unicorns’, I would highly recommend doing so.