Keira Knightley recently swore off the corsets and wigs that have made her a star in period films like Pride and Prejudice and Anna Karenina. Not all her forays into playing people born in the 20th century have paid off, but in Lynn Shelton’s arrested-development comedy, she’s disarmingly charming as a lost soul who doesn’t know how she’s been convincing everyone else that she belongs in the grown-up world.
Knightley has frequently played women in trouble, but she lands in a thoroughly modern crisis when she decides to hide from her boyfriend after he proposes by befriending a teenage girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) outside a liquor store and crashing with her for a little while. She’s young enough, at least at heart, to hang out with Moretz’s character and her circle of burn-out kids, but begins an ongoing flirtation as well with Moretz’s foxy father (Sam Rockwell). Perpetual wise-ass (and future star) Kaitlyn Dever makes a cameo with a great line at the trailer’s end.
Laggies looks appealing and accessible enough to be Shelton’s mainstream breakout. Read Women and Hollywood’s Sundance interview with Shelton about Laggies.
The film which will be released by A24 – a company that has supported multiple women directors including Sally Potter, Sofia Coppola, Gillian Robespierre – opens October 24.