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150 Ratings

Always Shine

Directed by Sophia Takal
United States, 2016


Two best friends, Anna and Beth, who take a weekend trip to Big Sur to reestablish a bond that has been broken by years of competition and jealousy. Tensions mount, however, leading to an utterly unexpected yet inevitable confrontation that will change both of their lives forever.

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Always Shine Directed by Sophia Takal

Awards & Festivals

Indiewire Critics' Poll

2016 | Nominee: Best Overlooked Film

Tribeca Film Festival

2016 | 2 wins including: Best Actress (Narrative Feature)



Frankly, “Always Shine” could be a bit less clear what it’s really about. Takal casually borrows from weirdo Altman (especially “3 Women” and “Images”), plus De Palma, with scrolling titles out of a Ken Russell movie and jarring mini-flash forwards, maybe lifted from “Easy Rider.” But she rarely gets a chance to go whole hog genre… That doesn’t mean what it says doesn’t need to said, or that the way it says it doesn’t work the nerves as well as the mind.
November 25, 2016
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It’s an immersive nightmare of merging, over-identification, and projection. Its strangeness (and I yearned for more strangeness) is part of the fascination. The true horror here is emotional. These women feel pressure to be one and have an equal desire to shatter the illusion of one-ness forever.
November 25, 2016
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A deft, assured movie with a sly self-reflexive undercurrent containing commentary on sexism and self-idealization that’s provocative, and sometimes disturbing. As it chronicles Anna’s through line from neurosis to psychosis, it implies that, in times such as these, maybe the girl can’t help it.
November 24, 2016
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