‘Millie Lies Low’: SXSW Review | Reviews

Millie Lies Low

Dir: Michelle Savill. New Zealand. 2022. 100 minutes.

Ana Scotney (The Breaker Upperers) performs the manic however Machiavellian Millie in author-director Michelle Savill’s thought training on the likely impact of an out-of-management shame spiral. Certain for the adventure of a life span, Millie is the recipient of a prestigious architectural scholarship, with an condominium and coveted internship awaiting her in New York. All she has to do is just take the flight. As an alternative, Millie suffers a panic attack and finds herself physically grounded. Her flighty disposition and blind refusal to take the predicament in entrance of her, from money limitations and forms to damaged romance and relationships, prospects to her delusional fantasy that no a single will discover she’s not essentially in New York if she just ‘lies low’, putting up photoshopped visuals to Instagram to maintain up appearances.

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 Savill retains the tone upbeat, homing in on her character analyze.

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The inspiration for the tale came following Savill skipped a flight in 2013 to attend the Clermont-Ferrand movie pageant, where by her small Ellen Is Leaving screened in competition in advance of going on to acquire awards at SXSW and San Francisco. Even though Savill only imagined about masking up her oversight back then, she later on created a character based on that experience of humiliation, exploring what would happen if she experienced followed that impulse to its most capricious finishes. The consequence is a feature debut most probably to enchantment to indie festivals and functions on the lookout for a lot less mainstream, far more intricate depictions of (youthful) girls. It has already appreciated festival perform in New Zealand and in Generation 14as well as in Berlin and now screens at SXSW. 

Subsequent his close-ups of the claustrophobic kerfuffle at the gate, Andrew Stroud’s digicam slowly and gradually tracks Millie’s lone suitcase about the baggage declare impulse acts brief but fallout can take its time. Millie tries to re-ebook her flight but learns it will price near to $2,000, which she doesn’t have. She phone calls her very best good friend and classmate Carolyn (Jillian Nguyen), to whom she marketed her car. While Millie is aware Carolyn is broke and simply cannot fork out right absent, she asks for the cash back again. Next, she calls her mom for unexpected emergency funds, pretending to have dropped her notebook during a layover. These are useless-close leads but the shed pet pet dog expression on Scotney’s encounter betrays Millie’s motivations – disgrace has not stopped her seeking to listen to the warm timbre of reliable voices.

Eventually, Millie goes to ‘Money in a hurry’ to secure a private personal loan but does not have any belongings to support her application. In Pink Panther-slapstick fashion incognito, Millie briefly steals again her car to safe the financial loan and awaits its processing period in a tent, not far from her mother’s house.

It is all really amusing, till it is not: Millie basically can not preserve up the charade and getting identified out indicates dealing with all people else’s anticipations of her. The comedian establish-up earns a cathartic launch, but Savill and co-writer Eli Kent really do not give the supporting solid adequate product to work with, leaving Scotney to outperform in each individual of Millie’s quarrels. Rachel House as her perfectly-this means but misguided missionary mom is underused and supplied far too a lot exposition to chew by, even though Jillian Nguyen is tasked with taking part in a two-faced bestie in as well small display time. It all quantities to a amusing if slightly unearned narrative conflict, involving bodily fluids.

There are possibilities for deeper social commentary, also – from the difficulties of homelessness to the performativity of social media. Apart from at bars and parties, or when capturing her confront lit up with likes from her smartphone, Andrew Stroud’s camera sees Millie in typically organic mild, and Evelyn Ida Morris’ rating is sparing. But Savill retains the tone upbeat, homing in on her character research. From goofy grins to panic-ridden large eyes, Scotney’s assortment and talent is obvious: her comedian timing and commitment to Millie’s mania are exemplary. But in centring her earlier mentioned all else, there are a handful of way too lots of narrative stones still left unturned.

Generation businesses: Lie Low Confined

Global product sales: Explanation8, [email protected]

Producers: Desray Armstrong, Angela Littlejohn

Screenplay: Michelle Savill, Eli Kent

Cinematography: Andrew Stroud

Editing: Dan Kircher

Manufacturing layout: Heather Hayward

Tunes: Evelyn Ida Morris

Principal cast: Ana Scotney, Jillian Nguyen, Chris Alosio, Rachel Property, Sam Cotton