Comedy Drama

'Unicorn Store' TIFF 2017 Review: Magical, in every sense of the word

September 14, 2017Ferdosa Abdi

Brie Larson’s directorial debut, Unicorn Store, is a colorful and lively feature about one woman’s battle for self-expression in the “normal” world. And it is, in every sense of the word, magical.

After facing rejection at art school, Kit (Larson) must return home to live with her parents (Joan Cusack and Bradley Whitford), who urge their daughter to join the 9-to-5 workforce and find a husband. What follows adheres to basic coming-of-age tropes, but Larson injects a healthy does of glitter, paint and whimsy. Kit’s inherent goodness and purity is such a joy to watch, and you truly root for her to get the unicorn she so rightly deserves. Yes, you read that right. Kit wants a unicorn. And the Salesman (Samuel L. Jackson) promises she'll get one if she stays true to herself.

Things veers into surrealist territory once the Salesman and the titular store enter the picture. However, Unicorn Store isn’t about them, or even Kit for that matter. Instead, it's a boisterous reminder to never stop believing in yourself. After all, the world can be a cruel place, but as Larson shows, no one can take away your spirit.

Unicorn Store is receiving its world premiere as part of TIFF 2017's Special Presentations programme. Its runtime is 1 hr. 32 min.

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