‘Kajillionaire’: Film Review

Variety | 1/26/2020 | Peter Debruge
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The world is a weird place. Miranda July knows that, but the rest of us sometimes forget. Or maybe we just don’t want to admit how bizarre it is that society more or less agrees that back rubs and hot tubs and flavored chips and McRibs are an appropriate reward for a bazillion years of human development. It’s not until you visit a foreign country, or watch a foreigner trying to make sense of your own, that it starts to register just how weird it all is. That’s what artists do: Like Martian anthropologists, they see things differently, and they reflect them back to us in such a way that we can, too.

With “Kajillionaire,” July devises a fresh strategy to offer an outsider’s perspective, focusing on 26-years-young Old Dolio (Evan Rachel Wood), the oddly-named daughter in a family of scammers — a dysfunctional “scamily,” if ever there was one. A metaphor for home schooling gone horribly wrong, Old Dolio has been raised so far outside the acceptable mold of American parenting that it was all bound to backfire one day. Now, over the course of two eventful weeks, Old Dolio slow-motion short-circuits, finally expressing the desire to experience all that she’s been denied.

Description - Plot - Inner - Journey - July

That description is completely inadequate, emphasizing plot over the truly unorthodox inner journey July puts Wood’s character through, but if it’s enough to get you in the door, then maybe this label-defying movie can work its magic. It would probably be safer to pitch “Kajillionaire” as an original riff on the tried-and-true con-job genre. Every day, the Dynes — Robert (Richard Jenkins) and Theresa (Debra Winger), with Old Dolio in tow — pull from a playbook of small-time hustles, designed to make a quick buck at other people’s expense.

The opportunistic L.A. trio live in a low-rent office building...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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