Evan Rachel Wood, Richard Jenkins, and Debra Winger play a family of scam artists in Miranda July's latest.
Miranda July's latest movie is an extremely odd and quirky tale about a trio of con artists.
The focus of the film is Old Dolio (Evan Rachel Wood), a 26-year-old who works scams with her con artist parents Robert (Richard Jenkins) and Theresa (Debra Winger).
They pull off low-stakes cons to help them get by, such as stealing parcels from the post office, and have failed to pay rent for their home - an office space that leaks suds from a factory next door on a daily basis - for months on end.
Old Dolio has never been treated like a child or given any parental love and affection.
Instead, she has always been treated like an accomplice in their scams, having been able to forge a signature since she could write.
Their way of life is turned upside down with the arrival of newcomer Melanie (Gina Rodriguez), who helps Old Dolio question her relationship with her parents and realise she can have a different future.
The family dynamic July has created is original and fascinating and audiences are likely to become invested in Old Dolio and supportive of her starting a new life of her own, one that is honest, legitimate, ordinary and perhaps even one more loving and caring.
However, July takes a bizarre, minimalist approach to her script so certain conversations or confrontations that would have been satisfying for the viewer don't happen.
Consequently, many questions about the family's history go unanswered and we are offered little closure.
Rodriguez is the shining light in this movie as Old Dolio's beacon of hope.
She brings energy and charm and a much-needed injection of normality into the mix and was easily the most captivating to watch.
Wood gives a strong performance but it’s hard to warm to somebody who is so introverted, monosyllabic, and emotionally stunted, so it would be nice to have witnessed more scenes of Old Dolio coming out of her shell.
On the surface, Kajillionaire just seems like a family heist movie, but if you stick with it - despite its random oddball nature - it becomes much more about Old Dolio learning that she deserves more from life.
However, it is pretty niche and weird and won't be everyone's cup of tea.
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