Black Bear sees Aubrey Plaza excel in her most nuanced role yet. Following Allison (Plaza), a filmmaker seeking solace from her tumultuous past at a rural retreat, the film runs on a relentless tension between the creative and her hosts, Gabe (Christopher Abbott) and Blair (Sarah Gadon). Both Blair and Gabe have their own artistic passions, but their pregnancy has sidelined those, a point of contention between the couple that fuels their contempt for one another. The disdain is on full display as they aggressively bicker in front of their guest. On the surface, the argument is about Blair’s suspicion that Gabe is attracted to Allison. The conflict reaches a terrifying crescendo when it turns out her insecurities are, in fact, intuition. Then part two begins, digging deeper into the power dynamics of these characters, albeit in different roles. This bold switch-up is a marvel to watch and solidifies Black Bear as a smart and ambitious cultural commentary.