30 Jun 17by Webmiss
Was Aubrey Plaza born with her left eyebrow poised a wee bit higher than her right? It does appear to be congenitally arched, just as her lips, at rest, seem always caught between a moue and a smirk. Her eyes themselves, never at rest, are among the most expressive on any screen right now: they throw shade; they scheme; they go blank with perfect deadpan timing; they widen with demented glee; they roll with a disgusted panache that would humble any mall rat, her pupils inscribing an arc as long and graceful as a Stephen Curry three-pointer. It’s the eyes especially that mark Plaza as the anti-Emma Stone, a Zooey Deschanel gone rancid, America’s best-loved manic pixie nightmare girl—a role she perfected for seven seasons as sulky April on Parks and Recreation and one that she has now taken to another dimension altogether, literally, on FX’s mind-bending superhero adaptation Legion. Here, her breakout character, Lenny, is dead, or a figment of the hero’s addled imagination, or his therapist, or . . . something. Anyway, she got to do an amazingly sexy-scary dance to Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good,” paying homage to both Liza Minnelli and, I think, Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. This we need more of. Plaza has brightened movie theaters too, though not yet enough of them, in the criminally underseen zombie rom-com Life After Beth, and the less-criminally-underseen-but-not-without-its-charms Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. This summer we get two doses: Plaza as a foulmouthed medieval nun in The Little Hours, which is based on The Decameron in the way that Monty Python and the Holy Grail was based on Arthurian legend, and Plaza as a Rupert Pupkin for the social-media age in Ingrid Goes West, in which her title character develops a fixation on Elizabeth Olsen’s Instagram “influencer,” and where Plaza adds colorings of genuine pathos to her delightfully perverse palette.