Written and Directed by Miranda July, KAJILLIONAIRE, is a wildly funny, original comedy surrounding a family of con-artists. Robert (Richard Jenkins) and Theresa (Debra Winger) are not the typical mom and dad as they’ve spent 26 years training their only daughter, Old Dolio (Evan Rachel Wood) to swindle and scam her way through life. Their heist gets compromised as a new stranger (Gina Rodriguez) enters their world and things are never the same.
Pink frothy soap bubbles fall down the dilapidated walls of the underground apartment as makeshift office cubicles divide the space into bedrooms. There is beauty amongst the bleak backdrop of Old Dolio’s life. However, KAJILLIONAIRE is far from a pretty story.
With two parents who show nothing but the harsh reality of the cruel world of poverty they’re in, it’s clear Old Dolio has very little emotional connection to anything in her life. Disconnected and isolated, Old Dolio is taught to do anything just to survive. With their rent overdue by several months, Old Dolio is left to scramble together her portion of the rent. Forced into a heist scheme, her parents convince her to scam money from a friendly seat mate they meet on a plane (Gina Rodriguez.) The unlikely pairing follows a series of circumstances that ultimately lead them down a path of underlying sexual tension so intense the audience questions whether they love or hate one another. Their relationship continues to evolve overtime impacting Old Dolio’s ability to trust once again, allowing Evan Rachel Wood to perform a complete transformation from beginning to end.
“I would sometimes do scenes as an animal because we wanted Old Dolio to have a very primal, animalistic quality to her that was so removed from any type of style or norm… and anything to do with gender,” said Evan Rachel Wood.
Miranda July creates characters so complex and layered, it’s no surprise the overall narrative is somehow rooted in her own experience of motherhood:
“These ideas sort of come up from my consciousness… this is the first movie I’ve made as both a daughter and a mother.”
July speaks about the symbolic rebirth that comes when having a child and the transformation that can develop overtime. This transformation is seen directly throughout Old Dolio’s relationships and brings an awareness of how important parent, child relationships are and creates a new perspective on what it means to be a family.
Focus Features’ KAJILLIONAIRE is now playing.