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Netflix’s ‘Unicorn Store’ marks actress Brie Larson’s directorial debut. (Photo via @IGN on Twitter)

Film Review: Brie Larson sparkles in directorial debut ‘Unicorn Store’

Brie Larson is having a banner year. The Academy Award-winner soared to new heights last month with the release of Captain Marvel, and she’ll make her second appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe later this month in Avengers: Endgame. But between the action-packed blockbusters came a little sprinkle of glitter in the form of a 90-minute Netflix original: Unicorn Store.

Larson makes her directorial debut with Unicorn Store and also stars in the film as Kit, a young woman was recently kicked out of art school for her outside-the-lines, rainbow-hued vision. Clad in homemade jewelry and fuzzy sweaters, she returns home to the dismay of her parents before taking a temp position at a PR firm. It’s there she receives a letter inviting her to The Store, which sends her on a quest to get ready for the arrival of a unicorn.

Playful and childish Kit makes for an interesting role for Larson, much different than her more serious recent roles. But she embodies Kit’s innocence and sense of wonder in the most endearing way, making viewers want to believe in magic right along with her.

Samuel L. Jackson, owner and operator of The Store, and Larson continue to be the dream team 2019 didn’t know it needed. With a hot pink suit and tinsel in his afro, Jackson, too, explores a unique role for him, making the part of a unicorn salesman even more hilarious. Joan Cusack continues to own the mom role, perfectly embodying Kit’s eccentric camp counselor mother.

To make her home and heart ready for a unicorn, Kit learns the value of real human connection, the pain of failure and how to overcome it, and that growing up doesn’t have to mean losing your sense of magic. Unicorn Store examines the acute pain of young adulthood through a rainbow glitter lens, tackling tough topics like toxic workplaces, tense family relationships and men who try to steal womens’ sparkle. But the film is encouraging in the way the problems quickly give way to Kit’s next adventure, as if to remind the young people watching that their troubles will pass soon enough, too.

Unicorn Store is a short, sweet testament to the child in all of us. In an age of heaviness throughout all kinds of media, it’s a fresh perspective that tastes like a funfetti cupcake. And it’ll make viewers be thankful for the unicorns in their lives, too.


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