“THIS IS NOT BASED ON A TRUE STORY” disclaims a title card during the opening scene of American Animals, the new heist flick from BAFTA-winning director Bart Layton. "THIS IS A TRUE STORY."
As the (true) story goes, back in 2004 a quartet of bored American students decided to steal a rare book from their university's library and sell it on the black market. Not unusually for heist films, things didn’t go quite according to plan. But what makes American Animals such an engrossing watch is the facet of reality woven into the story’s retelling. By interspersing into the movie snippets of interviews he conducted with the actual people involved, Layton brings a heightened pathos to his characters, and queries who exactly is being told what truths.
American Animals is out in Australia today, and thanks to the folk at Madman we have 20 double passes to give away. Simply sling us your details using this online form and you could be wising up to the follies of crime in no time. True story.