I think it’s safe to assume that, with everything going on in the world, many of you are in need of a good laugh. Although your conventional comedies were probably halted by COVID, don’t fret, because filmmaker, Miranda July has released her third and newest comedy feature, Kajillionaire. Telling the story of the aptly unconventionally named Old Dolio, played by Evan Rachel Wood, a reclusive and rather masculine young woman who lives in an office block with her con artist parents, played by Richard Jenkins and Debra Winger.
(Evan Rachel Wood, Debra Winger and Richard Jenkins in Kajillionaire)
The family are three months behind on their rent and have 7 days to pay it; fortunately Old Dolio has a plan. Whilst executing this plan, the family befriend a Latina girl named Melanie, played by Gina Rodriquez and she begins to challenge the dynamic of this family of con artists, as well as Old Dolio’s complex with intimacy. Kajillionaire is a bizarre deadpan comedy with a lot to say about empathy and affection, which today’s climate makes all the more important. Miranda July expertly uses comedy to, not only make us laugh, but make us think, as she expresses insights into our capacity and willingness for affection and empathy.
(Writer/Director Miranda July)
Not only is Miranda July’s writing and directing on point, but the film boasts a strong ensemble cast. Gina Rodriquez, Richard Jenkins and Debra Winger are all exceptional in this film, but it is of course Evan Rachel Wood that steals the show as the films unorthodox lead. Wood plays a young closed off woman with a head full of conspiracy theories and an overall skewed sense of reality stemming from the lack of affection she has been shown throughout her life. Wood’s performance is as unconventionally hilarious as it is unconventionally endearing.
(Gina Rodriguez and Evan Rachel Wood in KAJILLIONAIRE)
Overall, Kajillionaire is a winning comedy whether you enjoy it for its sophisticated interweaving of social themes and deadpan comedy, or simply for its bizarre sense of personality. With a confident comedy filmmaker at the helm and a strong ensemble cast to boot, Kajillionaire marks a career highlight for its writer/director Miranda July, as well as it’s star, Evan Rachel Wood.
Kajillionaire is OUT NOW in select theaters.