After more than a decade in the spotlight, two-time Golden Globe nominee Alison Brie is starting to spread her wings beyond just acting. Last year, she directed her first episode of her Netflix hit “GLOW,” and 2020 will again bring her behind the camera for another joint from the streaming giant: as screenwriter on Jeff Baena’s latest, “Horse Girl.” Brie also stars in the Sundance premiere, which she wrote alongside her frequent collaborator, who has previously directed her in other Sundance offerings like “Joshy” and “The Little Hours.”
The film is the latest from Baena, who has long enjoyed toying with tropes (the zombie movie, the sad-dumped-guy dramedy, the nun-centric comedy) and turning them into unexpected character studies. “Horse Girl” appears to be no different, following Brie as the eponymous equine-obsessed gal as she embarks on a life-changing journey. But don’t expect the film to offer up the usual “weird gal comes of age kind of late but in a sweet way” dramedy that initial looks might hint at, because there’s much more going on here than first meets the eye.
Per the film’s official festival synopsis: “Sarah (Alison Brie) has a quiet and fairly simple life, contenting herself with the crafts-store job she holds, the nightly supernatural crime TV show she adores, and the equestrian center she visits constantly. When a gift impulsively stirs her curiosity about her family history, unexpected and strange dreams begin to disturb her. As these visions seep into her waking moments, Sarah struggles to hold on to her fragile reality. Director Jeff Baena returns to the Sundance Film Festival with his fourth feature, diving into an incredibly personal and unusual new realm while retaining his trademark aptitude for character exploration and unsettling humor. … Born out of a close collaboration between Baena and Brie, who co-wrote and produced the film, ‘Horse Girl’ looks at the tenuous grasp we have on waking life through a bold and disquieting character study.”
The film also stars Debby Ryan, John Reynolds, Molly Shannon, John Ortiz, and Paul Reiser. The film is the fourth of Baena’s to premiere at the festival, following “Life After Beth,” “Joshy,” and “The Little Hours.” The film was executive produced by fellow Sundance regulars Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass.
“Horse Girl” will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival later this month. If you’re attending the festival, check out screening times for Baena’s latest right here. The film will be available to stream on Netflix February 7, 2020.
Check out the film’s first trailer and poster, available exclusively on IndieWire, below.