Untitled Miranda July Project (2019)

Evan Rachel Wood, Gina Rodriguez, Debra Winger, Richard Jenkins,
Kajillionaire is a movie starring Evan Rachel Wood, Gina Rodriguez, and Debra Winger. A woman's life is turned upside down when her criminal parents invite an outsider to join them on a major heist they're planning.
  • 6.4 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Writer:
  • Miranda July, Director:
  • Megan Ellison, Dede Gardner, Youree Henley, Jeremy Kleiner, Brad Pitt, Producer:

Trailer:

10 / 10

Wacky and heart rending

This film is so wacky that you don't fully appreciate the deep dive into human relationships until the end of the film. The acting, especially from Evan Rachel Wood is unexpectedly brilliant. And the writing from Miranda July is her best yet. I laughed until my heart broke.

9 / 10

Plenty of Laughs With a Lot of Heart

What a wonderful place Miranda July's brain is. I think we are so lucky she is able to share pieces of it with us. I am a fan of July's other work as well, and her latest movie Kajillionaire is probably my favorite of her films so far. Some of the characters' names alone are hilarious. I was able to catch a screening of it at Sundance.

Kajillionaire tells the story of a girl and her parents who need to hustle and con people just to get by. Her parents are very odd and jaded by their past lives and the people and government who took part in them. She has grown up in this life of getting by just based on what she is able to steal or find to sell for money. She has learned to mistrust others, and she has never seen her parents showing anyone preference or affection--even her. She is curious about being held, but that makes her feel weak and ashamed. To me, Kajillionaire is one of those movies that made me feel alive. Learning how to love and be loved in return is just beautiful. I found myself laughing out loud one minute, and the next minute I felt quiet or sad. You will be grateful of every good thing you have in your life; not everyone is as fortunate to have a place to live that doesn't leak or even simply someone to hug them.

6 / 10

A little bit of good and a little bit of bad

I think the IMDB keywords describe the good and the bad of this movie really well. By the way those hopeful for some female skin will be disappointed despite the 'sexual' content rating. Sex?? Yeah sure.Also the film is strange in that the girl looks gorgeous. She is very feminine and slender so desirable, but it is as if she is photoshopped the whole way... when I checked her photos out and looked up her videos outside the film she is nowhere as pretty as she is in this film. Strange.

8 / 10

wrapped presents

Greetings again from the darkness. A single month with new releases from both Charlie Kaufman (I'M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS) and Miranda July, is almost enough to make this movie lover forget for a moment that we are suffering through a global pandemic, raging forest fires, and the most obscene presidential campaign of my lifetime. Ms. July is an absurdly talented writer and filmmaker, and it's her first feature length film since THE FUTURE (2011). Prior to that, she served up ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW (2005), and has a unique way of displaying her strange life observations. She and Kaufman are masters of quirk, and excel in twisting our minds.

Evan Rachel Wood stars as Old Dolio Dyne, daughter of Robert (Richard Jenkins) and Theresa (an unrecognizable Debra Winger). This is an oddball family of petty crime con artists who live in a run down, unused office next to the Bubbles, Inc. factory. And yes, they make bubbles in the factory ... bubbles that seep through the walls into the office where this family sleeps. One of their scams is on the landlord (a surreal character himself) who has to explain to an always-negotiating Robert that "rent is an installment".

The first part of the film allows us to get to know the family members. We see them pull off stealing mail from a neighboring post office box, and returning stolen goods for the reward. Ms. Wood stays attired in an oversized green track suit jacket, and has lowered her speaking voice by an octave, adding impact to her monotone liners. She's socially awkward, and likely on the spectrum as she seems to be the smartest of the bunch. Daddy Robert is a control freak and has an emotional disability in regards to California earthquake tremors. He and Theresa show no signs of affection towards each other or Old Dolio.

An airline baggage scam results in the family meeting Melanie (Gina Rodriguez), an eager to join the grifters woman, whom Old Dolio sees as her replacement as both a daughter and partner. Jealousy ensues. Melanie is contrasted to Old Dolio by her bubbly personality, and by a wardrobe that is significantly more revealing than a tattered track suit. Old Dolio watches uneasily as Melanie is soon receiving the attention from Robert and Theresa that their own daughter craves.

The second half evolves into a film not so much about cons or heists (the film admits it's no OCEANS 11), as about family dynamics. The twists and turns find Melanie helping Old Dolio break free of parental over-control in order to experience independence ... and pancakes. Learning about warmth and affection from "normal" families is eye-opening for her, and sometimes a little confusing for us to follow. Who is scamming whom, and when are they telling the truth?

Miranda July has created a crime-drama-comedy (dark comedy), with plenty of space to let the characters and dialogue breathe. "I'm Mr. Lonely" by Bobby Vinton kicks in periodically, and the score from Emile Mosseri (THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO) complements it well. On the heels of last year's team of family scamsters in PARASITE, this shaggy group has never met a swindle they wouldn't try. And they never expected it to backfire with their own daughter. The divide between those who like the film and those who don't was pretty clear after Sundance, and Miranda July will likely never be one to appeal to the masses. But for those of us who connect with her oddball way of seeing life, we appreciate the focus on what makes a family of outsiders click ... especially when a superb performance from Evan Rachel Wood drives the film.

9 / 10

Magnificent movie. Just when you think you've settled into it's bizarre humanity, it turns into a hearbreaking exploration

Unusual, revealing, funny in an enlightening way. A must see for young women especially.