This year’s greatest film about hedonistic female friendship
Our spoiler-free verdict on Animals, the movie you have to see at the cinema this weekend. Plus: more culture by female creators and some very tranquil brunches
Watch this film

Going to the cinema is an underrated summer pastime. There’s air con in there! It doesn’t involve downing Venetian spritzes in a crowded pub garden! So book a ticket quick sharp to see Animals, adapted from Emma Jane Unsworth’s spiky 2014 novel of the same name.

The film follows best friends Laura (Holliday Grainger), an aspiring writer who’s been working on her novel for 10 years, and Tyler (played with Ilana Wexler-esque rambunctiousness by Alia Shawkat), who believes that traditional markers of adulthood – serious jobs, marriage, babies – are a patriarchal, capitalist con. Their adoring relationship is grounded in a mutual love of drink, drugs and dancing, plus a shared disinterest in hard work. 

But when Laura meets an earnest, career-orientated man, her bond with Tyler (who thinks said boyfriend has “the shoes of an undertaker and the smile of a despot”) becomes strained. A beautiful, hilarious, heartbreaking study of female friendship, creativity and growing up, it will either make you feel profoundly grateful to have left your partying years behind – or glad you’re still in them. Animals will release in UK cinemas Friday 2 August

Visit this exhibition

This year has seen plenty of barnstorming exhibitions celebrating the work of female artists, from Cindy Sherman at the National Portrait Gallery to Lee Krasner at the Barbican and Faith Ringold at the Serpentine. Now there’s one more to add to your list: the Tate Modern’s new year-long retrospective of work by Hungarian artist Dóra Maurer, a 20th century avant-garde pioneer. Expect beautiful black and white photography, graphic works, colourful geometric paintings and experimental films. Opens 5 August, free

See this theatre

Not going to the Edinburgh Festival? Hop on the Northern line to the Camden Fringe. Three women-led plays we’re keen to see at Camden People’s Theatre this month: The Indecent Musings of Miss Doncaster 2007, a comedy about a world-weary former pageant queen (6-10 August); Ophelia Rewound, a one-woman show exploring stereotypes around female mental health (22-25 August); and Muse, based on the life of artist Dora Maar and her relationship with Picasso (22-25 August).
● Words by Moya Crockett

Peaceful London brunch spots for when you want to be able to hear yourself speak

There’s a time and a place for rowdy, boozy brunches, but sometimes you just want to enjoy your eggs/toast/pancakes in peace. Stylist Loves’ deputy editor Moya recommends Crane’s Kitchen in Peckham: “There’s a space to suit any mood or weather – a cosy, wooden front room, an airy, glass-walled back section and a tiny, tranquil garden. Grab a table outside and order the creamy mascarpone mushrooms on toast topped with salty shavings of pecorino, or the poached eggs with lemony labneh, silky wilted greens and a sprinkling of pretty purple basil. Heavenly.”

Stylist Loves’ editor Kat, meanwhile, has nothing but praise for the recently reopened Eneko Basque Kitchen & Bar in Aldwych. “In summer, the Strand is basically purgatory. But subterranean Eneko is a cool, calm, quiet haven. It’s great for a swanky, special dinner, but there’s a more informal brunch menu designed for daytime sharing – think scrambled eggs with delicious Iberico ham and smoky rice dishes cooked in a Josper. The ideal way to escape the city when you’re still in central London.” 

Stylist’s editor-in-chief Lisa Smosarski gives Gingerline’s latest madcap pop-up a test-run

“Do you have any phobias?” is not a typical restaurant welcome, but it’s how we were greeted at Chambers_, London’s new immersive dining experience. Having already received a memo requesting we wear flats, we knew we wouldn’t be sitting quietly at a white-linened table – but we weren’t prepared for what was to come.

The two-hour “performance” sees you travel through six themed rooms, or “dimensions”, where five curious courses are served (all top-secret, of course). The food isn’t Michelin starred but it is tasty, while the rooms vary from eclectic to off-the-chart bonkers. One may give me actual nightmares forever. A fun night out for the open-minded, but maybe not one for the immersive theatre virgin. Until 28 Sept; from £55; Hoxton

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Image credits: Tamara Hardman; Relative Quasi Image 1996. Private collection © Dóra Maurer Photo: Vintage Galéria / András Bozsó; James Byrne
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