Unicorn Store: Brie Larson’s Directorial Debut

Brie Larson in Unicorn Store. Courtesy of Netflix.

Originally premiering in Toronto, Unicorn Store makes for an impressive debut for actress-turned-first-time filmmaker Brie Larson.

If you’ve seen Captain Marvel, you already know that Larson commands great chemistry with Samuel L. Jackson.  When you see this film, you know why.  It’s as if the two have them have continued from where they left off.  Clearly, the two of them are not playing Carol Danvers and Nick Fury in this film.  Nor is this a Marvel Studios release.  But don’t let that stop you from taking a chance on Larson.

Kit’s (Brie Larson) dreams of becoming an artist hit a road block when she is forced to quit art school.  Art is so subjective so it really isn’t her fault so to speak.  As a result, it’s back home where parents Gene (Bradley Whitford) and Gladys (Joan Cusack) turned her childhood room into a gym.  Basement bedroom it is!  Spending what feels like days on the couch, Kit’s parents do what they can much to their avail.  Amid all the depression commercials, Kit spots one for Temporary Success.  It comes as no surprise that this ad is for a temp agency.  Kit gives it a shot and ends up working the copy machines at an office.  It’s here where she meets Gary (Hamish Linklater).  The two of them bond really quick.

When Kit least expects it, a mysterious card manages to pop up on her desk.  This leads Kit to make here way to The Store.  It’s a mysterious place at first.  We soon learn that The Salesman (Samuel L. Jackson) runs the place.  He’s here to give Kit whatever she wants but it comes with a catch.  What else does Kit want but a unicorn!  Getting this unicorn will not be all that easy.  Basically, it requires a checklist of items that must be completed.

It’s always fascinating to see actors take a step back from beyond their comfort zone.  In this instance, Larson goes from in front of the camera to behind.  The problem with this film is less the directing than it is with the story itself.  The cast makes the best of the script though.  Among the best scenes are when Kit and The Salesman interact with each other.  Credit this to the great chemistry formed between Captain Marvel and Nick Fury.  I couldn’t resist stating the obvious here.

While Unicorn Store may not be the greatest film in the world, Brie Larson shows some promise as a director.

DIRECTOR:  Brie Larson
SCREENWRITER:  Samantha McIntyre
CAST:  Brie Larson, Joan Cusack, Bradley Whitford, Mamoudou Athie, Hamish Linklater, and Samuel L. Jackson

Netflix launches Unicorn Store on April 5, 2019. Grade: 3/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.