June 9, 2018
The ‘American Animals’ Opening Scene Gets Ready for a Heist
American Animals focuses on one of the strangest art heists in history. A group of college kids from wealthy backgrounds banded together to steal a collection of rare art books. Things didn’t go as planned. Now, you can watch the American Animals opening scene below, featuring the characters preparing for their big heist.
American Animals Opening Scene
I’ve seen American Animals, and I think the trailers are doing the movie a disservice. Trailers make this movie look like your standard heist movie with darkly comedic undertones. But that’s not what American Animals is. Instead, it’s more akin to The Social Network meets Errol Morris’ The Thin Blue Line. Bart Layton, who directed the fascinating documentary The Imposter, brings his documentary sensibilities to this film. The result is a movie that blends fact with fiction – we see actors playing real-life figures, and then we see the real-life figures themselves, offering insight into what really happened.
The end result is fascinating, and one of my favorite movies of the year so far. This opening scene gives you a good indication of what the film is actually like: the stylish narrative side of the movie, intercut with the documentary elements of real people talking directly to the camera. Here, we watch as the people involved with the heist – played by Barry Keoghan, Evan Peters, Jared Abrahamson, and Blake Jenner – prepare for their big heist. The plan is to disguise themselves as old men and steal a collection of rare art books from a college campus library.
If the not-so-great marketing hasn’t inspired you to catch this flick, I urge you to give it a chance. It’s much smarter, and much more disturbing, than it’s being sold as. This is ultimately a portrait of disaffected youth, and the message the film is sending will leave you unsettled.
American Animals is now playing.
American Animals is the unbelievable but entirely true story of four young men who attempt to execute one of the most audacious art heists in U.S. history. The film centers around two friends from the middle-class suburbs of Lexington, Kentucky. Spencer (Barry Keoghan), is determined to become an artist but feels he lacks the essential ingredient that unites all great artists – suffering. His closest friend, Warren (Evan Peters), has also been raised to believe that his life will be special, and that he will be unique in some way. But as they leave the suburbs for universities in the same town, the realities of adult life begin to dawn on them and with that, the realization that their lives may in fact never be important or special in any way. Determined to live lives that are out of the ordinary, they plan the brazen theft of some of the world’s most valuable books from the special collections room of Spencer’s college Library. Enlisting two more friends, accounting major Eric (Jared Abrahamson) and fitness fanatic Chas (Blake Jenner), and taking their cues from heist movies, the gang meticulously plots the theft and subsequent fence of the stolen artworks. Although some of the group begin to have second thoughts, they discover that the plan has seemingly taken on a life of its own. Unfolding from multiple perspectives, and innovatively incorporating the real-life figures at the heart of the story, writer-director Bart Layton (The Imposter) takes the heist movie into bold new territory.
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