Miranda July is a multi talented American singer, actress, screenwriter and
director, whilst not prolific in the amount of films that she has directed,
she has only directed two films The Future (2011) and Me You and Everyone
We Know (2005), both her films have been universally praised by critics.
After a 9 year break July is back behind the camera with her latest film
Kajillionaire, an eccentric tale about family, relationships and love.
Kajillionaire begins outside a post office somewhere in Los Angeles. It’s
here that we first meet Robert (Richard Jenkins), Theresa (Debra Winger)
and their daughter Old Dolio (Evan Rachel Wood), a trio of con artists who
will try anything in order to make a few dollars. On the first occasion
that we see them Old Dolio (her name is explained later in the film) is
stealing parcels from inside the post office.
Adding to the families woes, they live in an industrial unit where each day
bubbles cascade in from the adjoining soap factory, their landlord is
hounding them for $1500 in back rent.
Desperate for money, and with the risk of being thrown onto the street, the
trio of would be bandits concoct an idea that involves them taking a short
return flight and on the way back claiming that they’ve lost their luggage.
The insurance money being enough to pay off their rent.
On the return journey they meet fellow passenger Melanie (Gina Rodriguez) a
bubbly and happy soul who, looking for some excitement, convinces the trio
to involve her in their next con.
As the cons become more serious, one involves stealing a cheque book from a
dying elderly man, Old Dolio starts to have doubts about the life that her
parents have given her. Starved of any love and affection she ultimately
seeks solace in her friendship with Melanie.
Dealing with subjects such as mental health, loneliness and abuse with
sensitivity Kajillionaire is a fascinating, dark and sometimes comical look
at how a person’s upbringing shapes who that person will eventually become.
Helped in no small part by wonderful performances from her cast Miranda
July has managed to add another hit to her short but otherwise impeccable