- Michael Shields
In this episode of Welcome To The Party Pal, host Michael Shields, along with film historian Christian Niedan, converse up the recently released film Kajillionaire, from acclaimed writer/director Miranda July. The moving and wildly original comedy tells the story of con-artists Theresa (Debra Winger) and Robert (Richard Jenkins) who have spent twenty-six years training their only daughter, Old Dolio (Evan Rachel Wood), to swindle, scam, and steal at every opportunity. During a desperate, hastily conceived heist, they charm a stranger (Gina Rodriguez) into joining their next scam, only to have their entire world turned upside down. In this episode, not only are the eccentric particulars, outstanding cast, and weighty, timely themes of Kajillionare explored, but Miranda July is celebrated as one of the most innovative filmmakers and artists working today…Kajillionaire being proof positive of this assertion. Because one film for the WTTPP team is hardly ever enough to dissect in one episode, Michael and Christian also bring into the conversation the 1990 neo-noir crime classic The Grifters, a film starring John Cusack, Anjelica Huston, and Annette Bening which, like Kajillionaire, features a unique family of embattled con artists.
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