‘We’re All Going to The World’s Fair’: Must-See Film Review

Film festivals can be a magical experience. You get to witness the birth of a new filmmaker, who has been working effortlessly to bring their vision come to life. Once you witness the film, you feel like a member of an exclusive club where you and many others get to share their enthusiasm about the film and manage to anticipate others, sparking a word of mouth. And sometimes they become overlooked by the general public but you recognize them as something worth discussing.

When I attended Sundance this year I was overwhelmed by the number of great films I saw. Some have received news of distribution for the film and some have found release dates. However, my favorite from the festival has not received either of those things. We’re All Going to The World’s Fair is written, directed, and edited by Jane Schoenbrun and stars Ana Cobb as Casey, a girl who feels isolated from reality and partakes in a challenge titled “The World’s Fair challenge” where she does a series of trials. Going into the film I had no expectations, there was no trailer or anything other than the promotional picture. It terrified me from looking at it but I was more than intrigued.

I think Jane Schoenbrun makes not only my favorite film of 2021 by a long mile but creates one of the best debut films ever and has grown to be an all-time favorite of mine. I have seen the film twice now and it still continues to mesmerize me and crush me on an emotional level. We’re All Going to The World’s Fair is a film about changing and accepting the changes being made.

You witness Casey slowly changing from this girl she once was to something new and the stages of coming to terms with it. Casey slowly spirals into this hole of madness as she finds it difficult to understand what is a game and what isn’t. Ana Cobb is absolutely spellbinding in this role, she understands the mental awareness of her character. Sure, this film is a horror movie but what works is that it does not rely on practical jump scares and VFX to do the job. It is a film solely based on atmosphere and the sounds that convey the atmosphere. Its handheld camerawork is very complimented by the wonderful direction from Schoenbrun, giving the audience a story that has been done before but not like this. The themes of dysphoria, change, and isolation all come into play here and the timing of its festival run is so spot-on due to the real-world events happening off-screen.

As you can tell, I am absolutely enthusiastic about We’re All Going to The World’s Fair. It is a film that I have not seen anything like it and probably will not till the end of time. It is a personal and honest portrayal of change and internet culture, especially with the youth, and Schoenbrun does it so well here and doesn’t make it to be cringe or dated. It is something that will be timeless and will be relevant for a lifetime.

As of now it does not have a formal release but is being shown virtually through Film @ Lincoln Center’s “New Director’s” series through May 6th. And has recently been picked up by HBO Max and Utopia for a theatrical release later this year. Please check it out!

A+ 

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