“Most people want to be Kajillionaires. That’s the dream. That’s how they get you hooked. Hooked on sugar. Hooked on caffeine.”Robert
Miranda July’s offbeat fables feature oddball characters brushing against the harshness of the normal world, but with enough warmth and brightness to maintain a comedic atmosphere. Kajillionaire‘s focus is Old Dolio, a tragic figure in her mid-twenties, neglected by her petty criminal parents so that she is uncomfortable with human connection or affection, much as she craves it. Evan Rachel Woods appears strikingly like a young Jason Mewes, from her hair and wardrobe to a wiry physical performance as she contorts herself to avoid the gaze of cameras and people. The film is slow to make its intentions apparent, with her parents’ decision to bring an outsider into the team first suggesting a jealous rivalry, though gradually we see that it forces Old Dolio to reckon with her own familial relationship. A memorable scene features the group acting out regular family life in a stranger’s home, which July plays for light comedy whilst also also making us aware that this easy charade is unfamiliar to Old Dolio and painful to pretend. Kajillionaire meanders a little too much but a strong closing scene provides a pleasing resolution.