Da 5 Bloods
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I May Destroy You
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The gloriously odd comedy of Kajillionaire guarantees an entertaining time for any viewer who likes their laughs quirky, awkward and unexpected. At the heart of the film though is a far more serious and moving exploration of the aching need for meaningful human connection; the pain when it is rebuffed, the elation when it is met.
Interesting and unique.
There are odd people in this world, sometimes they make themselves that way and other times they get made. My only hope is they find a way to happiness, acceptance and love.
Shit movie. Weird as fuck. Cringed the whole way through the movie. No gay stuff. Waste of time.
Represents the worst of "Sundance"...quirky to the point of stupidity, it comes across as condescending and out of touch to its own characters...nothing rings true (or failing that funny)...Woods (who is normal great) is just bad as the main character...and Gina Rodriguez is the only redeeming part of this fiasco. Some view Miranda July's work as modern urban fairytales ..they feel more like elitist claptrap and her bio reads exactly as I would expect it to. 1 1/2 stars out of 5
If you're not familiar with quirky writer/director/performance artist Miranda July, she specializes in a special kind of weird that borders on surreal and also a surprising emotional poignancy. It's been 9 years since her last feature film, The Future, and she's back with what might be her most narratively focused and accessible yet still wonderfully weird movie yet. We follow a family of grifters (Richard Jenkins and Debra Winger as the parents) and their day-to-day struggle to con, skim, or steal enough money to get by to the next day. Old Dolio (Evan Rachel Wood) is their only child, and her role in the family is thrown into question when a new member joins their team. Melanie (Gina Rodriguez) has connections to a raft of senior citizens so desperate for attention that, if they all pose as Melanie's family, they should be able to con these old folks of possessions they can resell. From there, the movie becomes a push-and-pull relationship between Old Dolio and the influence of her shifty family, and she questions her place in this fringe unit and whether her parents actually love her or see her as another means to get a score. Kajillionaire is loose in plot but populated with interesting characters who feel fully realized by July's writing. She's so good at studying human behavior and capturing it that the quirky details all feel so genuine and meaningful. Even Old Dolio's name is a reminder of her parents' opportunism and problematic parenting skills. She was named after a homeless man who won the lottery under the hopes that he would be grateful and put her in his will (he ended up spending his fortune on experimental cancer drugs). That's the difference with July. A silly name could just be a disposable oddity, but for her it's a reflection of a character's worth and history. There are moments in the movie that achieve a level of artistic transcendence where every piece is humming beautifully together, like one moment where a dying elderly man off-screen directs the grifter family to pretend to be like his own flesh-and-blood family. They play pretend at domesticity, each assuming a doting role, and the tranquil scene of a fake family feels beautifully attuned. The moments stand out more than the whole but July's empathetic appreciation of human fallibility keeps her from ever condemning Old Dolio's scheming parents too much. Even the very end finds a way to turn betrayal into a message of humility. Wood (Westworld) drops her voice several octaves, wears baggy clothing, and looks extremely awkward when it comes to human contact. Rodriguez (Annihilation) is the voice of the audience and her test of how far she's willing to excuse the selfish behavior of this clan of cons. Her burgeoning friendship and maybe more with Old Dolio is a rewarding enterprise for the characters and the audience. Kajillionaire is a gentle little movie that plays at a low-key range of human emotions yet it can still be deftly funny and surprising and heartfelt on its own unique terms. With Miranda July, she makes weird entrancing and human.
Nate's Grade: B+
Dark, strange and unique comedy drama. Evan Rachel Wood was fantastic and she spoke deep voice and she was funny. Richard Jenkins and Gina Rodriguez did nice supporting roles. But Debra Winger looked really old and I didn't recognize her! Co-Executive Produced by Brad Pitt.
Kajillionaire is refreshingly unique and depressingly strange, but it redeems itself in a very touching way. It entices the viewer into intense hatred and disgust for the antagonists, which almost poisons the watching experience. Later, the lines are clearly drawn, culminating with an emotionally fulfilling ending.
Quite possibly the worst movie I've ever seen. Incredibly boring and the characters are not at all likeable. The only redeeming qualities are the score and the homoerotic tension between Wood and Rodriguez.
Equal parts abrasive and poignant, Miranda always finds a way to get me wet, although this time with a feather like touch. I squirted sensitivity everywhere.