Director: Miranda July
Runtime: 105 minutes
Cast: Evan Rachel Wood, Gina Rodriguez, Richard Jenkins, Debra Winger
Synopsis: From acclaimed writer/director Miranda July comes a profoundly moving and wildly original comedy. Con-artists Theresa and Robert Dyne have spent 26 years training their only daughter, Old Dolio, to swindle, scam, and steal at every opportunity. During a desperate, hastily conceived heist, they charm a stranger into joining their next scam, only to have their entire world turned upside down.
Kajillionaire is a refreshingly unique, quirky dark comedy about an oddball family of grifters, which comes from auteur Miranda July. Theresa Dyne [Debra Winger – Shadowlands (1993), Terms of Endearment (1983)] and Robert Dyne [Richard Jenkins –The Shape of Water (2017), The Visitor (2007)] have spent 26 years training their only daughter, Old Dolio [Evan Rachel Wood –Westworld (TV 2016-20), Mildred Pierce (2011)] to swindle, scam, and steal at every opportunity. During a desperate, hastily conceived heist, they charm a stranger, Meanie [Gina Rodriguez – Jane the Virgin (TV 2014), Miss Bala (2019)] into joining their family, only to have their entire world turned upside down.
Profoundly moving and totally original and striking visually with cinematography by Sebastian Winterø, it has brilliantly nuanced ensemble performances and a suitable atmospheric score by Emile Mosseri.
Miranda July is a visionary prolific filmmaker, writer, musician actor who demonstrates an off beat humour in this odd tale of a dysfunctional family of completely unsuccessful grifters.
Old Dolia is the bizarre name her sociopath parents have given their daughter, after an absurd and demeaning scam involving her. But she is beginning to realise in her mid-20s that something is very wrong with her upbringing and the way they live in an a condemned office building, where every afternoon they have to clean off the overflow of pink bubbles leaking from the wall of next door – a surreal, almost dreamlike, bizarre, spectacle never fully explained.
The Dynes’ grotty unsuccessful swindles take an unexpected turn when they rope the stranger, Melanie, into a luggage insurance scam.
Kajillionaire is perceptive film about family units, parents and children, family bonds that tie – or loosen.
Kajillionaire was screened as part of the 64th BFI London Film Festival on the 7th October and is on UK general release now.
IMAGES COURTESY OF UPI