Always Shine | Chicago Reader
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Always Shine

Oscilloscope Laboratories is marketing this indie feature as a thriller, though director Sophia Takal (Green) describes it as a study in female identity. That's OK, because when her main characters, a pair of aspiring LA actresses, retreat to Big Sur for a friendly weekend getaway, the knives immediately come out. Beth (Caitlin FitzGerald of Showtime's Masters of Sex) is the pretty, demure one, working steadily by taking her clothes off in crappy horror movies; Anna (Mackenzie Davis) is the talented, forceful one, wrestling with the professional limitation of her plain-Jane looks. As they relax over the weekend, their unspoken rivalry begins to emerge, and things get even nastier when an unattached man comes between them. Takal plunges headfirst into the vanity of the acting business, which sometimes muddies her larger point; she's created two characters with distinctly different approaches to femininity, but these are hard to separate from the women's habitual self-regard. With Jane Adams.

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