Cert 12A Stars 3
My tolerance for off-beat and quirky was severely tested by this ambling crime comedy drama, which is a shame as it has a huge heart, a lot to say about relationships, some nice physical humour and strong performances from a cast wholly committed to fleshing out the filmmaker’s vision of the world.
With a steely yet compassionate eye, writer and director Miranda July explores the dynamics of abusive relationships and how the commercialisation of family life stunts emotional growth and empathy.
Richard Jenkins and Debra Winger play impoverished Californian thieves and conspiracy theorists living off the grid, and parents to a socially awkward adult daughter, who has the teeth-grindingly annoying name of Old Dolio.
Despite this hindrance, Evan Rachel Wood throws herself into her role as the plaintive young woman who has begun to question her lifestyle even before the family hook up with a new partner in crime while carrying out an insurance swindle.
Gina Rodriguez is an agreeably upbeat presence who accelerates Old Dolio’s personal growth, a process which puts her at odds with her parents.