"Personal Velocity" is Rebecca Millers personal anthology of anguish, depicting how three different women find their own momentum as their lives spin out of control. This gritty, realistic drama is excruciating to watch at times, and yet the top caliber performances and the intimate nature of the stories compel us to keep looking.
Watching this movie reminds me of "Nil By Mouth", Gary Oldmans personal and relentless film that showed us how horrible a family life can be. Except with "Personal Velocity", each segment connects these women's' poisoned childhoods to the repeating patterns of pain in their adult lives.
Each episode of the movie casts one of Hollywood emerging actresses in a starring role. Kyra Sedgwick is Delia, an abused mother who leaves her violent home and rediscovers her power as a woman. Parker Posey plays Greta, a cold conniving editor who cuts the redundancies out of her life as she does with the words on a page. And finally Fairuza Balk as Paula, a former runaway that helps an abused teenager while she struggles with her own flight from her life.
From a production perspective, "Personal Velocity" is a another triumph of digital filmmaking, where the roughness of hand held cameras and real life location shoots loan a level of home video realism that makes the stories that much harder to endure. These snapshots seem real, and the pain and suffering that each of these women endure in their lives weighs heavy on your heart while viewing.
As writer, director and based on her own novel, Rebecca Millers complete control of her vision ensures that these stories are being told without pulling any punches. And with such raw emotion, this movie leaves you drained and depressed, wishing once more that we didn't live in a world where the stories of "Personal Velocity" go on every day.
For Movie Magazine, this is Purple.
© 2002 - Purple - Air Date: 12/04/02
USA - 2002