Crime doesn’t pay. Or at least, it doesn’t pay well. Kajillionaire’s con artists are a far cry from ripping off a Vegas bank; a good day’s haul to the Dynes is a gift certificate and a big rock. They’re not swindlers – they’re scroungers. 

In fact, with their wild hair, misfit clothes and lolloping gait, there’s something of the cryptid about this oddball family, dodging around the fringes of society for whatever food and work they can find. Miranda July frames them as such; ducking their angular shapes past cameras and beyond the sightline of dodgy landlords, and coaxing unnerving yet endearing performances from her leads. Evan Rachel Wood particularly transforms herself for Kajillionaire, inverting her typical grace into a tangle of gangly limbs. You almost get the feeling photos of ‘Old Dolio’ would come out blurry and have their provenance disputed for years to come. 

Of course you can’t have outsiders without insiders, and Gina Rodriguez is oh so charming as the bubbly and empathic Melanie. Her appearance gives Kajillionaire the shot in the arm it needs to really get going. Her excitable energy is a great counter to Wood’s lethargic sullenness, not to mention the desperate exasperation of Richard Jenkins. Speaking of, there’s no one working in film who tears their hair out quite like Jenkins, and it’s so good to have him back after a three-year hiatus.

Expect uneasy laughs and heartbreaking sighs as the Dynes’ neuroses unfold, exposed as they are to circumstances that border on the painfully metaphorical. July doesn’t resist an opportunity to lay it on thick, as unknown feelings bubble up and faking family affection becomes surprisingly profitable. It’s a little on the nose, perhaps a sacrifice of aiming for a broader audience, but hey – gotta do what you can to make a buck.



CAST: Evan Rachel Wood, Gina Rodriguez, Debra Winger, Richard Jenkins

DIRECTOR: Miranda July

WRITER: Miranda July

SYNOPSIS: 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.