My Old Ass Review

REVIEW: My Old Ass

My Old Ass recently came to London as part of this years Sundance London Festival. Starring Maisy Stella and Aubrey Plaza, we follow Stella’s Elliott on her final summer before college as she partakes in hallucinogenic mushrooms and forms an unlikely connection with her future self, played by Plaza.

Stella is insanely charismatic on screen. This is her first role since appearing as Daphne Conrad on Nashville for 6 years, but you’d be forgiven for not immediately recognising her. Gone are the sequins and tantrums, instead she gives an authentic, natural and charming performance as Elliott, a messy and often selfish young woman who you can’t help but root for.

Playing opposite her is Percy Hynes White as Chad, and their chemistry is off the charts. White may be known to most from his work on Wednesday, but again, through the strong direction of Megan Park, he blends into the role of Chad, making his connection with Stella seem effortless through the witty but secretly heartwarming script also delivered by Park.

This is Megan Park’s second feature, following up 2021 festival hit The Fallout. Getting her start as a young teen actress herself, her care for the coming-of-age genre as well as her brilliant handling of these former teen TV stars mark her one to watch. Blending sarcasm, loss, the fear of ageing, drugs and the naivety of youth effortlessly in her script, she manages to highlight the exquisite beauty and pain of growing up and moving on, whilst also appreciating the preciousness of the present and enjoying what time we have here and now.

The soundtrack and original score (headed by Music Editor Paul Intson) are beautifully moving, whilst never feeling overtly manipulative. Park, Intson and their teams have managed to craft a perfect end-of-summer playlist, capturing the essence of trips down the lake and camping adventures shared. Exactly what you would come to expect from an indie Sundance hit.

Likewise, Park and Director of Photography Kristen Cornell use their location on a Canadian cranberry farm and lake to set the stage for one last summer that feels never-ending. Beautiful crane shots of the nature surrounding Elliott and her family help to ground the more mystical and whimsical elements of the film and the heavy use of natural lighting draws us in as the film heads towards its inevitable sunset at the end of the summer.

Not to be forgotten, Aubrey Plaza continues her current outstanding streak of performances as the older Elliott here. Though this is very much Stella’s film, Plaza’s presence is felt throughout the runtime and she delivers some of the funnier lines regarding the potential future that awaits us all in 20 years.

A crowd-pleasing, heart-warming, genuinely hysterical film, I cannot recommend catching My Old Ass more. Even just for the embarrassment of having to say the name out loud. A wider release will hopefully be coming soon.

Where to Watch

My Old Ass | June 8, 2024 (United Kingdom) 7.3


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