Sunday 25 February 2024

Miller's Girl (2024)

I won't quite flop it, but it's not far off, on first viewing. Certainly don't pay your hard-earned if you have no points or whatever to get it for free. Martin Freeman (who seems to pay an embarrassing lack of attention during accent-training) plays a failed writer, so now teacher, in an American college. Mr Miller.

Jenna Ortega's 18 year-old character Cairo (what a great name) starts to take his class and demonstrates to him that she has a special writing talent, so he singles her out for special attention. He sees nothing wrong with that. Until it gets out of hand and they're clearly falling for each other.

It's all very arty-farty throughout and we're not really ever very clear about what has happened between them, if anything, and what's an artistic projection of what she's writing about, but whatever it is, it raises concerns amongst the college's leadership, his wife, his friend and well, pretty much everyone really. So plenty of trouble ahead!

Add into the mix Cairo's tart of a friend who's trying to bed one of Mr Miller's colleague male teachers, but states that she's a lesbian, a drunk of a wife who makes him feel like an inadequate failure and we have the elements for potentially a good story and film. Sadly, it's really not.

It is, of course, nice to see the two high profile lead actors here, though sex and nudity there ain't - in case you were wondering - this film rather tries to artistically make suggestions of wrong-doing alongside some life observations about rejection, regret, failure and ambition. Sadly it gets caught up in itself trying to be something more.

It's generally nicely shot with very thoughtful camerawork, use of soft focus and close-ups - yes, very arty, the cast do well (apart from Freeman's accent) and it's, well, OK I suppose. I did find myself getting bored with it at times and wondering where it was going - and it doesn't really go anywhere. It's a short 90-minute film so perhaps if it were longer it might have been better. Don't know. Anyway, wait for it to come to streaming. It feels a bit like a direct-to-video outing to me.

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