‘Kajillionare’ | Sundance 2020 Review

‘KAJILLIONARE’ is directed by Miranda July and stars Evan Rachel Wood as the daughter of a dysfunctional mother and father (played by Debra Winger and Richard Jenkins).She is the third ‘partner’ in her Father and Mother’s heists to scam and steal to survive, while also fearing constantly for their life when an earthquake tremor hits, waiting for “the big one”. When a scam leads Evan Rachel Wood’s parents to meeting a new girl played by Gina Rodriguez, she sees her family take to Rodriguez more than they ever had to her, and causes her to start to question just what a family really is.

This is a fascinating premise of a film and one of the more out there films at Sundance this year. The story is very much centered around Evan Rachel Wood and how she was raised and now realizes she has been missing out on with her distant family. She doesn’t fit into reality until Gina Rodriguez’s character comes into the story. I really gotta shout outs first Wood and Rodriguez’s performances and chemistry together. None of the more outrageous moments would’ve worked if they didn’t have such great back and forth. The parents are also played expertly and you can really understand them, maybe not like them but you aren’t I sure of what their thoughts and rules are. All of the character work was very well done.

There’s a lot of dark humor and awkward moments that lead you to laugh and that’s where most of the lightness comes from. The story itself is pretty rough, dealing with abusive family and how that can affect a child from the crib up to adulthood. It talks about where your loyalty should lie when you are being used by the people you love, and where do you draw that line and leave an abusive relationship.

Overall, this is a very impressive film with a very independent feel wi to strong performances and engaging characters, all with a bit of an ‘Oceans 11’ twist. Go check it out whenever it’s out!

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