Animals

I liked this one, a female buddy movie that’s been compared to Withnail & I. I get that. Two women, Laura and Tyler, in their 20s live in a scuzzy Dublin flat, going out, taking pills and Mandy and getting drunk. A lot.

They’re clever and witty and played by Holliday Grainger and Alia Shawkat and they’re both very good, trading banter and gags and helping each other defeat hangovers. 

When Laura falls for a classical pianist Jim (Fra Fee), Tyler gets jealous. He has the shoes of an undertaker and the smile of a despot, she says…

Laura is perturbed by her new feelings, too and struggles continue with her novel writing, a much-awaited tome that hasn’t got very far in a decade. “What’s it about?” asks Jim. “It’s about 10 pages,” she bats.

Plus there’s Laura’s sister who’s now pregnant – lots of life changes loom, including upcoming 30th birthdays.

Grainger is excellent, nailing an Irish accent and handling the flush of white wine as it washes through her. She looks like a young Miranda Richardson. It’s a very likeable yet spiky performance – Shawkat, too, will appeal widely, with her defiance and her smarts, though I can’t help feel she’s the less well-rounded figure, a mysterious enigma in Emma Jane Unsworth’s screen adaptation of her own novel.

It’s nevertheless great on atmosphere – Dublin looks a wonderful playground – and director Sophie Hyde sensitively captures the love and pain of true friendship as it shifts into another gear of a life it can’t really survive…