EMILY THE CRIMINAL. An extraordinarily assured debut from writer/director John Patton Ford EMILY THE CRIMINAL sees Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) as a young woman driven to credit card fraud in Los Angeles. Plaza is absolutely hypnotising in the title role, and Theo Rossi (Sons of Anarchy) is fantastic as the shady character who introduces to a new, exciting and often extremely dangerous line of work.
Plaza, better known for her comedy roles, here completely immerses herself in the role of Emily – unable to find a decent job because of a past conviction, or to pursue her true calling as an artist because of mounting debt, and driven to desperate measures.
The film, which wowed audiences at the Sundance Festival this year, has an almost unbearable, nervy tension, recalling 2019’s Uncut Gems, as Plaza is drawn more deeply into a life of crime. With a moody score, and outstanding central performances, and a scene-stealing appearance from the legendary Gina Gershon (Showgirls), this is a completely absorbing, thrilling and unforgettable debut.
Emily is a talented artist who, due to a minor criminal record, resorts to insecure contract work delivering food while her friend from art school, Liz makes work trips to Portugal for photo shoots. Down on her luck and saddled with student debt, Emily gets involved in a dangerous credit card scam that pulls her deep into the criminal underworld of Los Angeles, ultimately leading to deadly consequences.