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Delightfully Weird
evanston_dad21 January 2021
A delightfully weird movie directed by --- no surprises there! --- Miranda July.

This is the kind of movie that could never succeed without actors who know how to play the material just right, so let's start with Richard Jenkins and the unrecognizable Debra Winger, shall we? Could these two be any better? They play a married couple (or at least a couple) who try to live off the grid but in the middle of Los Angeles, a tricky business. They have all sorts of conspiracies about how the government, big business, etc. is trying to mind control people, so they don't do things like shop in stores, have an online presence, bathe, things like that. Instead, they spend every waking moment coming up with cockamamie schemes to steal and rob whatever they can. They're raising their daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) in this environment, and things seem to be going ok, or as ok as such a situation could ever be, when the family dynamic is upset by the addition of a normal person from the actual world (Gina Rodriguez) who wakes Wood up to all the ways her parents have failed to show her love or even affection.

If you are the kind of viewer who demands realism from your movies, this one will try your patience. There are at least a couple of events in this film (like what happens to Rodriguez's apartment, and those of you who've seen it know what I'm talking about) that not just strain credibility but try mighty hard to entirely break it. But the thing is, they don't. They feel credible within the world July creates in her movie, a world that's just a hair out of kilter with the world as we actually know it. And for me, everything worked.

Well, almost everything. I didn't love the lesbian themes that become increasingly prominent as the movie progresses, not because I have a problem with lesbian themes in general, but rather because they didn't feel well integrated into this particular story. But the movie is about loving and being loved in return, and there are all kinds of love, so in the end that too mostly worked for me.

Evan Rachel Wood is sensational, but this movie is stolen by, of all people, Gina Rodriguez. Who would ever have thought?

One of 2020's standout movies.

Grade: A
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A most unusual family dynamic, every day spent foraging for food and money.
TxMike6 February 2021
I confess the main reason I looked forward to this quirky movie is Evan Rachel Wood, I have been a big fan, she is good in everything and especially good in quirky roles (as she was in "Whatever Works"). She is really good here as the 26-yr-old daughter living as a 3-member team with her parents. They named her Old Dolio and the story explains that quite interestingly.

Just as a family of deer or elephants spend most of their waking hours foraging for food, this 3-some does just that, food and money just to meet expenses, with no regard for where it comes from. Running any number of scams. And Old Dolio, who seems to be played as a high-functioning autistic, accepts her lot in life.

Until another young lady comes into their lives, after getting to know Old Dolio seems bent on breaking her out of the emotional chains and towards a more normal life.

This is NOT a mainstream movie, and the very skewed IMDb reviews indicate that. In fact my wife gave up after about one-third of the movie, the quirkiness did not appeal to her at all. I stuck with it, things eventually come to a decent resolution of sorts, but it is not the kind of movie that I prefer. But I must give credit to the actors, all do a very good job.

Watched it at home on DVD from my public library. No "making of" extras.
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wrapped presents
ferguson-625 September 2020
Warning: Spoilers
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.
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Life on the shaky streets
kosmasp7 June 2021
What a great role for Rachel Evan Woods ... of course the supporting actors do their jobs. But it is sort of her role ... and her movie overall. I did not know what to expect and the family she is in, is quite the interesting oddity! And her performance ... just awesome! You can tell from the start.

And it is not the easiest job. She has to walk quite the fine line. Her character is not really likeable! But she is quirky and weird ... and while she (but her parents even more so) does things that could be described as despicable ... we know it is her situation that motivates her. For that, she still seems to have a moral compass ... of sorts. Again very weird and crazy character.

She will clash with a "newcomer", which we can predict ... and also were this will lead to ... still the drama is well played and well acted (no pun intended).
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Challenging but worthwhile in the end
RMurray84718 January 2021
Robert (Richard Jenkins) and Theresa (Debra Winger), along with their grown daughter Old Dolio (Evan Rachel Wood) are a "team of con artists" living on the fringes of society. The parents have raised their daughter to follow in their footsteps. This sounds like it could be the basis for an intense drama or even thriller. It could also be the basis for a wacky comedy or a family comedy or a dark comedy.

Set your expectations elsewhere. KAJILLIONAIRE is its own very unique, strange drama/comedy hybrid. I put "team of con artists" in quotations because these guys are TERRIBLE at what they do. They put A LOT of energy into their schemes yet things go wrong or the amount of return they expect is way above reality. They live on the fringes of society (in fact, they live in a crumbling office suite that is located next to a bubble factory , a bubble factory] and each day they must get back to their home/office at the same time in order to clear away the bubbles that leak through the wall). They barely have enough money for food. Your first thought after spending 10 minutes with them is "if they just put this energy into a real job, they'd be fine." But the parents also are paranoid: the government is watching them, there are secret rays beaming at us through cell phones, etc. etc. These guys are nuts (I realize that's a very uncharitable and non-PC characterization, but believe me, watching the movie, you will have the same reaction.) And their adult child has been raised like this. Mistrusting. Living on the edge of the law. And without hugs and affection either. She's emotionally stunted, and even moves through the world with weird posture. She doesn't fit in. You can sense she's aware that she's in an unworkable and abnormal situation, but has no sense of a way out.

Into this strange, fringe family comes Melanie (Gina Rodriquez), a vibrant, flashy, energetic but also troubled young lady who develops a fascination with the family and wants to join in on their con artist ways. She's a natural at the work, but she's also living on a different wavelength. Flashy when they are quiet. Ballsy when they are cowardly. And affectionate. At first, it's the parents that are entertained by her (and Old Dolio is alarmed by her). Yet, these relationships are forced to develop in new ways because of Melanie's intrusion.

The PLOT of the film is almost beside the point. It's the relationships that matter. Lots of things happen in the movie, but there's never a strong sense of a beginning, middle and end. And this gives the film a highly rambling quality, which coupled with these very strange people, makes for a tough movie viewing experience. We're not quite sure how our loyalties should lie (or if we should even forge any). Writer/director Miranda July has made the quirkiest movie I've seen in a long time. Sometimes its a playful quirkiness that can make for a bit of fun. Sometimes it feels quirky just for the sake of it, and this deadens the pace of the film at times. The tone of the movie is very challenging; a tightrope walk. July and her cast aren't always 100% successful in staying on the rope.

Yet the movie offers plenty of rewards for the patient viewer. When Melanie hits the scene, the carefully constructed strangeness of the central family is blown apart and the film is nearly completely unpredictable at this point. You have the chance to really DISCOVER what happens next, not just sit there and expect the events to unfold in a certain way. These characters are so odd it is almost impossible to guess what they will think, say or do next. And that almost complete uncertainty is its own reward. And the performances are stellar too. Jenkins and Winger are old pros and are a hoot to watch. Rodriquez (who brought so much optimistic energy to Jane The Virgin) explodes on the screen...she was a perfect casting choice. Bubbly and upbeat is SO different than what the others are, it is just fun to see how she causes ripples upon ripples. And Evan Rachel Wood is fascinating. Her voice and mannerisms are unique, and getting to watch her emotionally stunted character at least think about perhaps blossoming just a little is really the true joy of this film. The movie hinges on her ability to pull off the job of taking a very strange character and making her believable. She sticks the landing 99%; and the end of the movie is a quiet but powerful treat.

This is a challenging movie. Slow paced (especially the first 30 minutes). Weird. Characters we don't immediately recognize or empathize with. Sounds like a recipe for a poor evening of movie-watching. But in the end, I was oddly exhilarated. The payoff was more emotional than I expected; July planted the seeds of empathy and we didn't quite know it until suddenly they sprouted. A nice surprise!
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I don't understand all the negative reviews
grdriver526 October 2020
I was more than a little sceptical having read the one star reviews. This is not laugh out loud comedy, more of a drama really. I and my wife in our 60's just loved this quirky movie. It was so well acted I think its Oscar worthy. I can understand all those people who need belly laughter humour. But yeah I nearly gave it 10 stars
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You either get it or you don't
bbrown-805321 August 2021
The positive reviews understand the emotions of this movie. The negative reviews don't. I thought it was a very unique movie, which is better than the same old fake Hollywood reboots. It's artsy. It's quirky. It's emotional. Evan Rachel Wood was amazing. Perhaps it's love or hate. I loved it.
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Entertaining enough for me.
deloudelouvain15 March 2021
Don't bother with the negative reviews for this one on here. That is if you're not too picky and can enjoy a movie without the urge of being too critical all the time. Kajillionaire is certainly not a bad movie, it's different and sometimes a bit weird, but it's definitely entertaining. The plot is about a disfunctional (or not) family that tries to get by using inventive scams to gather some money. Nothing they will get rich of, just a bunch of lowlife scams that are funny to watch. The family is played by Richard Jenkins, Debra Winger (which I didn't recognize) and Evan Rachel Wood. The whole crew did a good job. Kajillionaire might not be an award winning movie but it's good enough for a good movie night.
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fascinating and infuriating
SnoopyStyle3 April 2021
Old Dolio (Evan Rachel Wood) has been trained by her parents, Robert (Richard Jenkins) and Theresa (Debra Winger), to live a life of petty crimes and scams. While on a round to NYC to do an insurance scam, Robert and Theresa become taken with fellow passenger Melanie (Gina Rodriguez). They take her in as a part of the family and part of their criminal crew.

I'm fascinated with this family up to the point of Melanie. I'm fascinated and also infuriated by ERW's performance as Old Dolio. She is so quiet and lacking in agency. Quite frankly, I'm in love with her choice for a voice. At some point, Melanie takes up space. That's not to say that Melanie isn't interesting. I have complicated feelings about this movie. Some of this unforgettable and fascinating while other parts are too frustrating.
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Kajillionaire Review
theredsky3 October 2020
I was really surprised that I came out of this film really loving it. The trailers didn't do a whole lot to impress me but I checked it out anyway and it was worth it. This has some of the best writing and lead performances of the year although not my favorite. Miranda July definitely knows what she is doing here. Her directing and writing feel so personal and intimate and she is able to craft one of the most unique stories of the year. There were a couple of slow bits but that didn't bug me too much but overall, the story was fascinating and engaging. Mostly because the characters here are very well developed and performed. Evan Rachel Wood and Gina Rodriguez were amazing here and I thought their characters were great. The parents played by Richard Jenkins and Debra Winger were also great too. Each has their own motivations and personality that is separate from everyone else and unique. The film was also very well shot and edited and the humor mostly hits. For a comedy, I didn't get a ton of laughs out of it but there were a lot times where I did chuckle. Even though some of the comedy didn't hit, it succeeded very well at all of its emotional hits. Go check this out when you get the chance because it's not getting enough attention.
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Bad, Bad, Bad
Dreadful film. Bad on so many levels. The dialogue is inane...when it exists. The storyline and the various subplots simply don't mix. And it's ultimately about spending an hour and a half with miserable unbelievable characters. It's hard to imagine how this movie got made. Harder still to understand how it got released. How bad was it? Well, the characters violate every motivational impulse they have to do things just to keep the movie moving along. The tight lipped conspirators suddenly tell complete strangers their plans. Epiphanies happen in the dark. And though it all, loathsome behavior is piled on loathsome behavior without a hint as to why or how the perpetrators chose to live this way. A gruesome film. I gave it a two instead of a one because the two adult leads were handled well. Avoid this film. It's the visual equivalent of food poisoning.
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Interesting film if a little odd and slow
coombsstephen13 October 2020
The film is a little strange and often doesn't make a lot of sense but ,none the less, it is watchable and does draw you in.

The characters are OK and just about believable but overall the piece of the film is slow and it lacks a bit of direction.

Worth a watch but don't have high expectations.
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An interesting premise, that doesn't go anywhere really...
0w017 October 2020
Imagine this: A movie following the exploits and scams of a family of scamming low-lifes... that sounds really interesting right? Well, they somehow managed to take that pretty interesting premise and make basically NOTHING out of it... the movie isn't funny, and it has very little intrigue, and extremely little drama, and very little adventure.... so it basically has nothing that a movie should have. The movie just kind of drags its feet for 1hour30minutes and then at the very end exhales a very agonizing and labored last breath... it's not really worth watching tbh, not even once! I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, unless you're a massive Evan Rachel Wood fan.
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Offbeat, superb portrayal of Boomer sociopathy
PotassiumMan8 October 2020
This indie drama about a destitute family of petty thieves living in squalor in Los Angeles might seem predictable at first but is actually a slow-burn take on the steep pitfalls of toxic parenting and co-dependency for young adults. It is a blistering depiction of a family living on the edges of society, holding on by a thread and stubbornly committed to its corrupt ways. By day, they are scrounging and stealing whatever they can. By night, they live together in a dilapidated back office under the roof of a forgiving landlord who meekly enforces the collection of the rent.

It's an acting tour de force with Evan Rachel Wood giving a subtly potent performance as a young woman who is starved for any affection or emotional nourishment, but who hardly ever questions the family orthodoxy. Jenkins and Winger are riveting as the scheming parents who, for we all know, never took the straight and narrow but who have no qualms about employing their child in their criminal versatility. Although the parents in this film are dirt poor, their undying selfishness is a trait that makes them so Boomer-esque, for lack of a better word. It is not too early in the least to have a film tackle the parenting style of a generation that has become known for its solopsism. Gina Rodriguez is actually quite good as the third party accomplice that this sketchy family chances to come across. She is the first character I can think of who goes from annoying to sexy in the history of cinema. Wood's role as the helpless adult child in the family is compelling. She has known nothing but the life of co-dependency and petty crime at her parents' behest until she sees the first check made out in her name, her first taste of independence, a dwelling without her parents and a new female friend with a shapely body. It becomes the discovery of a lifetime for someone raised by parasites.

The film's quirky feel belies the heart-wrenching material in the story of a young woman seeking to heal from the harmful legacy of toxic parents and find her own way in the world. The immense truths it digs into strike a chord for anyone who knows what a cancer that manipulative parents can be. I've waited a long time for a film like this and here it is. Recommended to the highest degree- even to those who cannot relate to this kind of upbringing.
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Ratings are too harsh for this movie
quinnfrain9625 October 2020
I think this is the first time i disagree with the general consensus. The film was slow but it delivers with the plot. The character development was on point and the acting by Evan Rachel wood carried the movie most of the time. It's a bittersweet movie and while not perfect i think it's one lf my favourite to come out this year. Obviously it's not for everyone.
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Plenty of Laughs With a Lot of Heart
JessL032 March 2020
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.
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This film is a litmus test for state of our world
babbuman22 November 2020
There is no nice way to say this; the world is full of idiots that won't get this film (nor any of the great works of art for that matter).

I'm not going to discuss the film other than to say I was surprised by low ratings and glad reviews didn't deter me from seeing this quirky poetic masterpiece, I have not seen anything like it since Charlie Kaufmans glory days (Eternal Sunshine, Adaptation etc). While those are clever little creations of quirk as well, they also work on many different (intelligence) levels, this one however, craves your full attention for the entire time, every scene, line and expression tweaks the story to our and characters continuous surprise. I get some of the criticism, the narrative loses its edge towards the end, but you have to see it for what it is, a declaration of love to the universe, the people in it and snack bags that go pop. I definitely hope to see more from Miranda July and hope she will continue to ace herself both in life and on the big screen. Thank you!
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O. M. G. W. T. F. did I just watch?
Top_Dawg_Critic23 January 2021
This film had so much potential, but it was wasted by a "blender-mixed screenplay". Take a bunch of decent stories and genres, throw them in a blender, and you get this slop.

What was Miranda July on when she wrote this long, dragged out, boring, genre-questioning and convoluted mess? There were more plot and technical issues than Old Dolio's confused life. Logic wasn't a word in her dictionary when July wrote this story. Why did Wood's character even need that annoyingly fake deep voice? And "Old Dolio" as her birth name? Wow, a lot of thought must've went into that one lol. Even Gina Rodriguez's character could've been written in better by a 5th grade drama class. Such wasted potential with her character. This story felt more like it was trying to be a comedy, that failed miserably.

The 104 min runtime with the terribly slow pace made this film unbearable, especially when you're waiting for something big - anything, to happen, and it never does. Ignore all the bogus high reviews from cast and crew, this was a waste of talent and a huge flop. July should've had a seasoned screenwriter go over and edit her script. This was probably the worst film and biggest expectation disappointment I've seen in the last year. It's a very generous 3/10 from me, all going towards the performances.
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A little too odd at first, but really comes into its own later on
themadmovieman10 October 2020
There's no getting away from it: Kajillionaire is an odd film. At first, it seems like a movie made for the sake of being weird, but as its story unfolds, you begin to see the method to Miranda July's madness, with an ultimately touching, bittersweet tale of personal independence making for a memorable watch.

First things first, if you're not party to a little bit of eccentricity and dry humour, you might find Kajillionaire rather inaccessible at first. Undeniably, the film struggles to find its feet in an eye-catching but admittedly dull opening act, as we follow the strange day-to-day exploits of a family of scam artists.

Evan Rachel Wood, Debra Winger and Richard Jenkins are fantastic in those roles, but there's very little to their characters early on, and it takes a while for Kajillionaire to really grab you with any real dramatic depth.

Fortunately, things take a turn for the better with the arrival of Gina Rodriguez, who brings a little bit of sense to an otherwise totally bizarre world. The film retains its offbeat sense of humour, but to have that grounded perspective with Rodriguez's excellent performance really helps you to find an in with this family, and the story begins to work off that really nicely.

Unfolding in thoroughly engaging fashion from then on, Kajillionaire deals with a range of interesting and sobering themes including poverty, neglect, abuse, all with a tinge of odd, dark humour to make it that little bit easier to stomach. Admittedly, the film's stranger side does occasionally undermine some of its more serious ideas, but without that charisma, it would likely have been a far less interesting watch.

Kajillionaire really comes good in its final act, however, where it begins to push the boat in terms of weirdness, but also in real, challenging drama. The run to the finish here features some of the movie's oddest moments, but also some of its most affecting and heart-wrenching ones, as we follow Evan Rachel Wood as she begins to discover the world for herself - away from her parents' unique worldview.

Along with Rodriguez, Wood is really fantastic and brings an impressive dramatic dynamic to a film that can occasionally feel a little emotionally opaque. Again, its themes aren't quite as hard-hitting because of its oddity, but there is real, affecting drama in the film's final stages, and that really caps it off in impressive fashion.

Overall, I liked Kajillionaire. It's not a perfect film, and perhaps doesn't manage to use its capacity for eccentricity to full effect, but there's still a worthy story to be heard here. With great performances, interesting themes and unique humour, it's a memorable, if not undeniably odd watch.
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Highly recommended
harry_tk_yung27 October 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Evan Rachel Wood's cinematic journey to "Westworld" has been rich and fruitful. Some may have been impressed by her performance in "Across the universe" (2007), a tribute to The Beatles, in which she brings to the movie audience a fresh face and voice that charms. Others may notice that she seems to be specializing in the role of a young woman (teenager, in fact) forced into maturity in a single-parent family with a child-adult father. Those who have seen "King of California" (2007) and "The wrestler" (2008) know what I mean. Then there is Dolores in "Westworld" that makes her face recognized around the world - the robot that gradually and agonizingly acquires humanity. One critic points out that her character in "Kajillionaire" bears a degree of similarity to Dolores, an observation that has some merits.

"Kajillionaire" is written and directed my Miranda July, whose debut "Me and you and everyone we know" (2005), a gem of an indie, demonstrated the magic that creative talent can bring to the movie screen.

In "Kajillionaire" there is a third, equally crucial contribution making the movie a work of wonder that it is. Gina Rodriguez plays a role here that, while a supporting role, makes Wood's character work. I'll elaborate later.

"Kajillionaire" should be a strong contender for best actress, supporting actress and original screenplay for any movie awards competition. For mainstream awards such as Oscar, best picture would not normally go to a small-budget indie, unfortunately.

Kajillionaire's running time is one-and-three-quarter hours. If you don't know anything about this movie, you may be wondering, during the first half-hour, where it is heading. You are privy to the day-to-day existence of a family that may be best described as quirky. Perpetually struggling at the edge of poverty, parents Robert (Richard Jenkins) and Teresa (Debra Winger), together with 26-year old daughter Old Dolio (Wood) work as a well-drilled trio team for petty theft and con. They are the polar opposite to Ocean's Eleven. For this trio, nothing is too small. For a while, the narrative does not seem to go anywhere, with July's sense of offbeat humour carrying the day. Then, enters Melanie (Rodriguez), and the movie brightens and deepens.

Through a chance meeting, Melanie is co-opted into the group. She has some experiences with the art of conning and is delighted to have the opportunity to work with the trio of old hands. What she brings, however, is her personality: sunshine cheerfulness, irrepressible enthusiasm, thoughtful tenderness, positive confidence. It is through her that what we have seen hitherto (details I deliberately omit lest it spoils you enjoyment of the ride) in Old Dolio is magnified. While it wouldn't be right to compare her to Dolores, Old Dolio does display an unhealthy lacking in emotions. She does not appear to be even interested in things around her. We now begin to wonder why.

Do not let me mislead you into thinking that there is some convoluted history of childhood trauma. That would be way beneath July. It is just a case of neglecting and irresponsible parenthood, to such an extent that Melanie quickly senses it and tells Old Dolio plainly that her parents are "monsters" to whom she is "addicted".

"Kajillionaire" is a cinematic journey that makes you feel absurd, hilarious, irritated, despair, ridiculous, heart-broken, warmly touched. It does all that to you. In the end, you leave with a smile on your face, believing that despite all that, there is still hope for humanity.
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7.5 Stars - A film, not a movie - an odd one at that
thejdrage4 February 2022
This is an odd duck of a film - very odd duck. But a good story line, woven in with strong strong character building and reveal.

Interesting cinematography, a part of Los Angeles you don't usually see.

This isn't a pretty or sweet film. It's kind of nitty gritty - rather different. So sit back and just go with the flow of it.

It's a Brad Pitt production too. You have to give him credit for giving the odd ducks a chance.
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"We can only ever be how we are."
classicsoncall16 April 2021
Warning: Spoilers
What a pointless movie. I don't mind quirky, if in fact this is what it was trying to be, but eventually you have to get to some kind of resolution that connects the dots. I get a kick out of the DVD sleeve that calls it 'A giddy surprise' and Wonderfully unpredictable', written presumably by critics who couldn't be honest in describing it. I actually did feel sorry for Old Dolio (Evan Rachel Wood), who was kept sheltered by her parents and raised as a grifter and forced to split anything she scammed three ways with her father (Richard Jenkins) and mother. Couldn't believe the part of the mother Theresa was played by Debra Winger. I didn't recognize her as the same actress who portrayed Sissy in 1980's "Urban Cowboy", but then again, that was forty years ago. The 'adoption' of Melanie (Gina Rodriguez) as part of the wandering family was rather bizarre, with the parents paying more attention to her than their own daughter. That blackout scene when Old Dolio and Melanie got locked in a bathroom was just the strangest thing, with Dolio believing the world was ending. In another picture the parents might have gotten hauled in for child abuse, but at twenty six years old, if Old Dolio hadn't figured out she was part of a dysfunctional family, I don't know when she would have.
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I wanted to like this but.....
traceytak12 June 2021
I couldn't hear half the dialogue, it was mostly mumbling and the film felt as though the director had just sad ad-lib the whole script. Long pauses and timing that felt flat. Some good ideas for scenes but not executed well. The father role was played well but the other roles just seemed extremely boring. The daughter role seemed to entail talking in a low mundane mumbled voice and didn't project as they assumed it would. It could have been good if the acting was more natural but sadly it wasn't.
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Great piece of work from Miranda July.
joshbarton157 October 2020
Everyone at some point in their life feels that they aren't part of a normal family, whether it be as a result of how you were raised or growing apart as life goes on. I doubt anyone out there would be able to claim being part of such an oddball family as in Miranda July's Kajillionaire, a quirky crime comedy that I typically love getting stuck into.

Old Dolio Dyne's (Evan Rachel Wood) life is turned upside down when her parents (Richard Jenkins and Debra Winger) invite outsider, Melanie (Gina Rodriguez), to join them on a major heist they're planning.

Kajillionaire opens in such intriguing fashion and maintains a sense of obscurity throughout that I certainly didn't fully connect with but found myself drawn to the deft character work from Miranda July and the film being rather striking visually. July's writing really does capture the desperation of this family and how the constant hustling and new arrival has driven a wedge right through the unnatural bond these parents share with their daughter, the comedy subtle in its execution and suiting the film to a tee.

The performances in Kajillionaire are brilliantly nuanced and not so in your face with the obscurity to put people off. They are a weird bunch but the performances from Richard Jenkins and Debra Winger as the parents are really good as their grip on the control of their daughter's life slips away. It's Evan Rachel Wood that really stands out here though, the introduction of Melanie into her life throwing her into an existential crisis that Wood throws herself into fabulously, heartbreaking as it is captivating.

Miranda July's Kajillionaire may not make a lot of noise to grab your attention but it's a film that deserves to be sought out, July's filmmaking and the performances leading it to become one of my favourites of the year.
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LA Garbage
myronlearn3 July 2021
Sorry to see excellent actors like Debra Winger and Richard Jenkins associated with this LaLaLand lunacy. What were they thinking? Did they really need the money? As for the movie, it should be entitled 'Two Hours of My Life I'll Never Get Back'. Awful!
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