Evan Rachel Wood as Old Dolio Dyne
Richard Jenkins as Robert Dyne
Debra Winger as Theresa Dyne
Gina Rodriguez as Melanie Whitacre
Mark Ivanir as Stovik Mann
Rachel Redleaf as Kelli Medford
Written & Directed by Miranda July
These days it feels rare for a really original film ahead along that also proves to become a real brilliant work, with most borrowing from previous works either, adapting or remaking stories or leaning in to the best regions of their genres to generate an entertaining affair, so when a film as incredible yet, intelligent and powerful as Miranda July’s Kajillionaire arrives it truly instills in me a renewed sense of awe and wonder in the magic of even the tiniest corners of the filmmaking world.
Con-artists Theresa (Debra Winger) and Robert (Richard Jenkins) have spent 26 years training their only daughter, Old Dolio (Evan Rachel Wood), to swindle, scam, and steal at every opportunity. Throughout a desperate, conceived heist hastily, they charm a stranger (Gina Rodriguez) into joining their family, and then have their planet down turned upside.
From the opening moments of the film to its closing credits, the film takes every perceived moment of predictability and consistently subverts expectations because of its tricky balance of somewhat coming-of-age comedy, heist thrills and modern feminist drama. In the simplest way imaginable, it had been hard to ever have the ability to see that which was coming next because of its quiet and awkward central character, with every step of progress feeling enjoy it was establishing five steps back rather than allowing audiences determine which until it had been already happening.
Much of the uniqueness and brilliance involves life because of the profound, moving and outrageous script compiled by July which has set a significant high bar on her behalf next project while also establishing that she actually is no more a talent to ignore behind the camera. The film’s deft exploration of from the Me Too movement to the tragic outcomes of damaged parenting to existentialism and bizarre corners of its Southern California setting, it’s a film that frequently bounced backwards and forwards between causing me to burst out into hysterical laughter and bringing me to tears at its breathtaking character development and offbeat plot points.
Along with her incredible writing, July’s directorial eye is really a truly beautiful sight to behold, simultaneously giving the film a drained look of color as Old Dolio is practically under her parents’ captivity while also highlighting the film in a lovely color palette which makes every frame truly mesmerizing. With her background as a live show artist in addition to an director and actor, the 46-year-old filmmaker has clearly transferred her range of talents to the director’s chair and brought an unbelievable energy to the film that keeps viewers hooked.
The material is further elevated because of the transcendent lead performance Evan Rachel Wood, the very best of her career so far arguably, and also fantastic performances from Rodriguez, Winger and jenkins. The Westworld star truly taps in to the raw vulnerability and heartbreaking areas of Old Dolio that means it is all of the easier for audiences for connecting and empathize with her situation and root for each step forward to keep, as the Carmen Sandiego lead proves to become a magnificent foil for Wood’s protagonist, someone with a genuine appreciation forever and simultaneous grip on her behalf identity while searching for her sense of purpose. The bond that blooms between your two as Melanie opens Old Dolio’s eyes to the wonders of the planet aside from her overbearing and problematic parents is this type of compelling thing to view and the performances from both only further cements its organic and believable sensibilities.
Kajillionaire has arrive at just the proper moment, infusing the present day cinema world with a moving, hilarious and truly original masterpiece of design that’s bolstered by the outstanding work both before and behind the camera and contains established itself among the best films of the entire year.