MoviesReviewsKajillionaire

September 24, 20201695 min
Starring
Evan Rachel Wood, Gina Rodriguez, Debra Winger, Richard Jenkins
Written by
Miranda July
Directed by
Miranda July
Run Time
1h 46min
Release Date
September 25th, 2020
Overall Score
Rating Summary

Hanging out in front of a post office playing lookout for your daughter as she avoids being seen by cameras is a pretty normal thing to do as a family. That is just another day in the life for this family as Robert (Richard Jenkins), Theresa (Debra Winger), and their daughter Old Dollio (Evan Rachel Wood), whom they named after a homeless guy who won the lottery, live their life. They do small time grifts, mostly stealing mail and such, as they live a minimalist lifestyle, even living in an office where every day at five o’ clock the wall bleeds bubbles. Living their life the way they do, they have neglected paying their rent and when the time has come to pay, Old Dolio is the one that comes up with a plan.

The plan is quite simple ( insert cool heist music here), they take a trip and lose a piece of luggage, and thus collect on the insurance money for said bag, which just happens to be the amount they need for the past due rent. It is on the flight back that Robert and Theresa sit next to Melanie (Gina Rodriguez), who seems to have a little grifter in her. After some conversation they let her in on the plan and Robert and Theresa start treating her like the daughter they never had, even calling her hon, something they never called Old Dolio. Melanie comes up with her own plan for them to get some money, but after the deed is done, she instantly has regrets. With all the attention Old Dolio’s parents are praising Melanie, jealousy is developed and Old Dolio takes up an offer that she can’t refuse from Melanie, that could change or help everything remain the same for everyone.

Kajillionaire is written and directed by indie darling Miranda July ( Me and you and Everyone We Know)  and is her first step into the world of genre filmmaking. As heist movies go, this is pretty low key, so don’t expect Danny Ocean to walk through those doors, even though he is brought up at a time, or at least the movies is. No, Kajillionaire is a movie about human relationships much more than it is about a group of people trying to nail that big score. The brilliance in July’s writing is that you can believe this family exists even with the absurdity that revolves around it. There is indeed a realism feel to the story that is being told at its center. What helps is that is the performances, especially Wood, who disappears in her role and creates someone who is an enigma as a person. Kajillionaire is a comedy in not so much laugh out loud kind  of way, but in a darker and moody kind of way, like you are laughing at them more than with them. I rather enjoyed this quirkily, yet heartful look at relationships and petty heists and only hope July will venture more into films like this.

 

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