Always Shine

‘Always Shine’ Starts Strong But Doesn’t Quite Come Together: BUST Review

by BUST Magazine

Directed by Sophia Takal
Out December 2
Rating: 3/5

Within the first 10 minutes of Always Shine, it’s clear that the film was directed by a woman. In the first scene, a beautiful, up-and-coming actress, Beth (Caitlin FitzGerald, Masters of Sex), auditions for a horror movie by taking her top off and saying the words, “I’ll do anything you want!” for some sleazy producers who inform her that the film requires “extensive nudity.” A few scenes later, Beth’s best friend Anna (Mackenzie Davis, Halt and Catch Fire) gets into a fight with a mechanic who’s overcharging her for an unauthorized repair. The women look similar, but their personalities are very different: While Beth is sweet and accommodating, Anna is angry, outspoken, and, according to Beth’s boyfriend, “a little intense.” When Beth and Anna decide to spend some time together in a remote cabin with no cell phone service, their mutual jealousy soon comes to the forefront. There’s plenty of bickering over Beth’s greater success with men and her career—until, finally, Anna decides to adopt her friend’s sweet, shy persona in the hopes of achieving the same measure of success.

The twist ending is predictable and the action is sparse for a movie that’s being billed as a psychological thriller. Director Sophia Takal makes some interesting choices, but ultimately, the story doesn’t quite come together. ?–Erika W. Smith


PHOTO: Mark Schwartzbard, courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories

This article originally appeared in the December/January 2017 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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