Personal Velocity

Director: Rebecca Miller
Year: 2002
Country: USA
Running time: 90 mins
USA
Screenplay: Rebecca Miller.
Based on her short-story collection
Photography: Ellen Kuras
Editor: Sabine Hoffman
Music: Michael Rohaytn

With: Kyra Sedgwick, Parker Posey, Fairuza Balk

Festivals: Sundance, Locarno, Toronto 2002; Sydney 2003
Best Film, Best Photography Sundance Film Festival 2002

In Rebecca Miller’s second feature, based on three of her own short stories, three excellent actresses appear as three very different women each taking stock at a transitional moment in her life. In blue-collar suburbia, Delia (Kyra Sedgwick) feels compelled to take her children and escape a volatile, violent husband. In a limbo world of roadside diners, Paula (Fairuza Balk), a teen runaway, is thrown into crisis by a narrow miss in a car accident. Greta (Parker Posey), a Manhattan publisher’s assistant, has escaped an overbearing famous father, finding shelter with a gentle, loving husband. An assignment to edit a sexy young hotshot’s novel makes shelter seem suddenly less appealing. Miller is the daughter of writer Arthur Miller and the partner of Daniel Day Lewis. Bigger namedroppers than us have ascribed the sharpness and conviction of this, the most successful episode, to personal experience. “Miller’s strength in her stories and in the film is in her ability to push past ideology and get right down to the nitty-gritty of desire.” — Manohla Dargis, LA Times