BFI London Film Festival: Gemini

Directed by Aaron Katz
Starring Lola Kirke, Zoë Kravitz and John Cho
Screening at LFF October 8th, 9th, 11th, 2017

by Joanna Orland

Jill (Lola Kirke) is personal assistant and best friend to movie star Heather (Zoë Kravitz). Perpetually doing Heather’s dirty work in both her personal and professional life, Jill even goes as far as lending Heather her gun when the star feels unsafe. But when Heather is found murdered by said gun, Jill finds herself at the heart of a police investigation, both as suspect and amateur detective.

Director Aaron Katz crafts a distinctly neo-noir vision of Los Angeles: A gorgeous colour palette and artistic shots of scenery are seamlessly edited together to seductive 90’s style electronica music, giving Gemini a mysterious feel. The camera loves Lola Kirke; her beautiful, expressive face carries the entire film. She is captivating to watch, and perfectly naturalistic on screen. Her character may make some ill-advised choices, but Kirke sees them through with grace. She is a fascinating actress, revealing more of herself with each new role.

John Cho is underused as a detective fixated on Jill as the prime suspect. His initial scenes show promise, but his part is reduced to merely a glimpse of what could have been. Zoë Kravitz – as movie star Heather – is aloof and free-spirited, counterbalancing Kirke’s more responsible Jill. This is one of her better roles to date.

Mumblecore meets noir, director Aaron Katz has created a film vaguely capturing the zeitgeist of millennials, alongside an initially intriguing whodunnit. Stylish to a fault, Gemini is let down by a final plot twist that is neither satisfying nor surprising; negating all the good will that Katz has built up before it. The ending undermines everything this film strives for, making you realize it’s all been a disappointing waste of time.

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