Premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, Emily The Criminal stars Aubrey Plaza as a woman in dire straits as a result of massive debts arising from student loans and a criminal record that precludes her from anything other than poorly paid gig work. As a result of her circumstances, she is primed to participate when an acquaintance brings her into a credit card-fraud operation, purchasing luxury items using fake cards and ID. Emily proves a natural and is taught the tricks of the trade by Youcef (Theo Rossi). As she becomes a more integral part of the set-up, her aptitudes put to good use, and a relationship with Youcef a seeming possibility, circumstances grow ever more complicated.
Plaza’s ability to convey steel-edged menace is utilised extremely effectively in this notable debut, relentless and resonant, from director Ford.