IMDb Rating: 6.4/10
R | 1h 44min | Crime, Drama | 25 Sep 2020 (Canada) | Movie
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 89% Certified Fresh (Critics), 47% Rotten (Audience)
Director: Miranda July
Writer: Miranda July
Stars: Evan Rachel Wood, Patricia Belcher, Kim Estes, Gina Rodriguez
IMDb summary: A woman’s life is turned upside down when her criminal parents invite an outsider to join them on a major heist they’re planning.
we are not spoiler-free
For some reason, this movie gives off the type of “feeling’ where there’s no middle ground to enjoying or not enjoying it. You are either going to think it’s the most ridiculous film you’ve seen in a long time, or you’re going to be praising the ground the director and cast walk on. But we’re actually going to be difficult here and sit somewhere right in the middle.
There are elements of this film that reminded me so much of Parasite and Shoplifters mostly because both movies provided the audience with a great experience looking through the eyes of scam artist’s and their families. There’s nothing nice about being scammed, but being scammed by an entire family is even worse. However, that’s about where the similarities end for Kajillionaire.
Evan Rachel Ward is amazing as the daughter of two scam artists who live their lives by cheating and stealing from everyone they meet. And when Gina Rodriguez’s Melanie shows up, it throws a real spanner in the works of epic proportions. What’s messed up about this film is Evan Rachel Ward’s “Old Doolio” (that’s her name, and yes there is a story behind it) is only doing what she’s been taught; scamming for her parents since she was old enough to understand what a scam was. Her parents in return have done nothing at all to treat her the way a child should be treated, leaving Old Doolio without an understanding of the basics of human interaction. Her mother played by Debra Winger is definitely not the nurturing type.
As the story progresses, Old Doolio and Melanie seem to strike up some sort of friendship while Old Doolio’s parents are thinking of other things. It’s quite a messy situation whichever way you look at it. The best thing that comes out of it is that Old Doolio manages to gain some independence from her manipulative parents.
In some ways, this story is too familiar and takes way too long to unfold. It’s also extremely slow in some parts. A few comedic elements make things feel more lively, but the monologue is a little boring.
If you’ve seen Shoplifters, you might enjoy this, in particular Evan Rachel Ward’s stellar performance.