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Film Studies 101
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Kyra Sedgwick
Parker Posey
Fairuza Balk
John Ventimiglia.
Directors
Rebecca Miller.
Screenwriters
Rebecca Miller.
Running Time
86 minutes

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Personal Velocity
Artistic and moving tale of three women's journeys down their different life paths.


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Plot
Battered Delia takes her children and flees her abusive husband; Discontented Greta weighs her career against her boring marriage; and pregnant Paula looks for meaning to her life after narrowly surviving a strange accident.


Review
Writer and director Rebecca Miller (daughter of playwright Arthur and wife of Daniel Day-Lewis) won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2002 Sundance Festival with her second feature, a bittersweet and intent chick-flick compendium adapted from her own short stories.

The first has Sedgwick reflecting bitterly on her situation and recalling the power she once enjoyed when she was the school slut. Further up the social scale, Posey frets she is not the high-flier her ruthless father expected. On the road, a shaken Balk picks up a hitchhiker and discovers there are even worse problems than hers.

Each actress is eloquent without much dialogue and creates a fully realised character, while Miller and cinematographer Ellen Kuras — shooting skilfully on DV — find a host of interesting ways to illuminate the women's lives and common themes in tightly-focused half-hour segments.


Verdict
Artistic and moving, with a lovely moment of clarity and insight as the pay-off in each life lesson. Its literary origin is undisguised, with extensive and effective use of narration.


Reviewed by Angie Errigo

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