A young woman navigates the reality of her boring Canadian life juxtaposed with the fantasy of her provocative Instagram celebrity.
Angelina is 22 years old, goes to community college and yearns to leave her small, boring hometown.
But Angelina has a double life — she has a hugely popular Instagram, racking up likes on her feminist, sex-positive posts and moonlighting as a “sugar baby.”
The double act works for awhile, until the schism proves wider than Angelina realizes, and she must reconcile her confident, sexy online persona with her more vulnerable real-life one.
Writer-director Katie Boland is a sharp, funny look at how social media shapes our identities, and particularly how sexuality intersects with these issues. The script is full of witty, insightful observations and dialogue, captured in cinematography that captures both the high sheen and gloss of Lolz-Ita and the grit and grim reality that Angelina lives within.
The real power of the film is in its exploration of the psychology of social media. Angelina has to confront both where her two identities intersect, but also where there’s a gap. This gap may help Angelina support herself and her family, but it also disconnects herself with her own authentic feelings. When she can’t use her Lolz-Ita identity as a shield, Angelina is lost.
The film needs sophisticated acting performances to work, and Katie Boland — who portrays Angelina/Lolz-Ita — delivers, bringing subtlety and intelligence to the confusion and internal division that her character experiences. She shares the screen with other terrific actors, including Sarah Gadon, star of Netflix’s recent “Alias Grace” adaptation.
“Lolz-Ita” is strong, smart work, with keen insight into modern life and identity, as well as how media and communication practices shape and structure our emotional life.
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