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Personal Velocity

Kyra Sedgwick , Parker Posey , Rebecca Miller    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Three Very Different Women. One Daring Leap Of Faith. Kyra Sedgwick (Something To Talk About), Parker Posey (Best In Show) And Fairuza Balk (Almost Famous) Star In This Completely Compelling (The Hollywood Reporter) Drama About Three Women Who Set Out To Change Their Lives. Winner Of The 2002 Sundance Festival'S Grand Jury Prize, This Passionate, Poignant And Bracingfilm Delivers A Muscular Punch (Screen International)! Delia (Sedgwick) Escapes From An Abusive Husband. Greta (Posey) Risks Everything On A New Career. And Paula (Balk) Takes Flight After A Tragic Accident. These Women Must Overcome Seemingly Insurmountable Obstacles That Confinethem. But Are They Really On Their Way To New Livesor Are They Just Making New Versions Of Old Mistakes?

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Most helpful customer reviews
Personal Velocity is the story of three different women who collide with a life crisis at different times in their lives. Delia (Kyra Sedgwick) has frequently been abused by the man she loves, a love that has tied her down and made her incapable of escaping, but now she realizes that it is time for a change. Greta (Parker Posey) is mourning the death of her mother as she has settled down due to her parents divorce that is the origin for her hate for infidelity. On the exterior she displays a person who is content with what life has to offer her; however, when a big time author asks her to be his editor, she has a chance to get back to where she once was, on the top of the world. The question is whether she can take steps to remove the ties that hold her down. Paula (Fairuza Balk) has recently witnessed a traumatic death and found out that she is pregnant with a child. Confused, she begins to drive home to see her mother as she is desperate for some guidance or a sign. On the way she sees a hitch hiker, a teenager, that she interprets as a sign so she picks him up. The three women are reaching their life decisions at different velocities in their lives. Their personal velocities are clearly represented as one has children, one does not even think of having any, and the third has one on the way. This makes the story unique in regards to women and their choices, which often are influenced by external factors. In the end, Miller provides an intelligent and excellent cinematic experience.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Perceptive and ripe with ideas Feb. 5 2004
By A Customer
Rebecca Miller's Personal Velocity is comprised of three short films: Delia, Greta, and Paula. The characters span location, socio-economic background, and age but are psychologically threaded by the common experience of a crisis pertinent to each's feminine identity. The movie's interest in women may garner the misperception of it as a feminist polemic, but Miller's vision is more humanitarian than political. It's one of those movies that, even when unsuccessful, seems genuinely curious about human beings.
In exploring battered wife, Delia (Kyra Sedgewick) Miller uses flashbacks to show her deep-seated confusion with sex and power as a promiscuous teenager. Greta reiterrates such themes, but as opposed to Delia's battered wife syndrome, these now impenetrable psychological depths actually produce societally acceptable behavior. The more Greta (the deft Parker Posey) succumbs to her innate moral inscrutability, the greater success she earns in her profession as a book editor. The final short, Paula is much less clear in its themes, and you can see Miller exploring truly dangerous territory, feeling around for a lightswitch in the dark. It follows a young quasi-homeless goth woman (Fairuza Balk) whose quest for love and motherhood become manifested in unconditional love and care for a terribly abused hitchhiking boy. Though this short seems spiritually disconnected from the first two, I like its dark, emblematic emotions (ripe with abortion metaphors and images of child torture) and Balk's performance is appropriately painful.
Miller's larger point, I think, is to show a battle between these women's present goals and their histories which, whether or not they like it, dictate their decisions. I applaud Miller for exploring such quandaries and being able to convey them in artful, engrossing entertainment.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Out,Out Damned Spot! Jan. 18 2004
Rebecca Miller's "Personal Velocity" is dull, drab and pretty much lifeless. It tells the story of three women who have little velocity, personal or otherwise. All three (Parker Posey, Kyra Sedgwick and Fairuzza Balk) are all without recourse, stuck in situations mostly of their own making and unwilling or unable to snap out of it and improve their lot.
Parker Posey as Greta a Cook Book editor, falls into a primo gig editing an up-an-coming fiction author and proceeds to mess it up making silly, unethical and un-professional choices. And Sedgwick as Delia, usually one to elicit sympathy, comes off as a pathetic slattern, undeserving of anything much more than pity. Balk as Paula rounds out this ungodly trio as a young woman bent on destruction who mostly succeeds.
I know that all of this is meant to be "real" and serve as a comment on Contemporary Woman but give me a break. We've all got it bad at some point in our lives but we also have it good a lot of the times. "Personal Velocity" ejects women back to the 1950's and beyond; a world in which women indeed had few choices but marriage and children and as such it not only demonizes Men, it degrades Women: those it is trying to glorify.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Endearing Dec 31 2003
When the movie begins you feel a little dizzy. The camera shots (digital filming) are so close on the actors you feel somewhat suffocated and want to tell the cameraman "move back a little". This sort of filming takes time getting used to and until the end of the movie you feel you are inside the flesh and sweat of these people. The movie does no effort to give you good shots of its actors. You see the three heroines in very "ugly" moments with their make up running, etc. You are on top of them and in a way this "harsh" filming adds to your intimacy with the characters and the total immersing in the stories.
This is the story of three women, each one in a turning point in her life. I guess what the movie tries to show is this moment of revelation and understanding, where all pieces fall down in place. In fact, it sometimes reminded me of Raymond Carver harsh stories who deal with such brief moments in time. Here the story leads us to this personal discovery, after which nothing will be the same.
The first story is the story of Delia, a woman who used to have a personal feeling of that was when she was young, but this feeling was severely shattered through the years. Now, through a hard process of independence she gains this power again. Delia needs to remember she used to have strength. This is not the strength and power of love. Sadly, love weakened Delia. But now, in this stage of her life she needs her own power in order to survive. Since the movie "Phenomena" I have a soft spot in my heart for Kyra Sedgwick who was able to move me once again.
The second story is about Greta, a young ambitious editor. Greta has undergone a period where she rejected her father following his treatment of her mother.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful X 3
I bought this DVD before seeing it because I love the three actresses who are the main characters in the three stories. They are all awful. Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars What's moving your life?
Many of these reviews have given detailed descriptions of what the stories are about...so I won't delve more into that aspect. Read more
Published on Aug. 22 2003 by Michelle Pettit
4.0 out of 5 stars Three solid tales of women in transit
Personal Velocity, written and directed by Rebecca Miller (and based on her book) tells three stories of women at crossroads in their lives. Read more
Published on Aug. 13 2003 by Lleu Christopher
4.0 out of 5 stars Three women recover personal strength and self-reliance
As so many films are told from the perspective of a male protagonist, it's refreshing to see a movie in which men are the secondary characters and we get to watch a woman deal with... Read more
Published on July 19 2003 by Ronald Scheer
5.0 out of 5 stars A Movie That Provokes Thought
This movie is the story of three woman, told in separate segments. Each of the characters has to some extent engaged in self-delusion as to who they really are as persons and each... Read more
Published on May 13 2003 by ZVON
3.0 out of 5 stars Actually 2 And A Half Stars
How is it, that this film, recieved an award for cinematography?
The problem with films made by people of literature is that they are often non-visual. Read more
Published on April 17 2003 by 24fps
5.0 out of 5 stars Five star acting in 2 1/2 star movie
Parker Posey, Kyra Sedwick, and Fairuza Balk all get umpteen stars from me for their great portrayals of women who have reached a point in life where they know something has got to... Read more
Published on April 1 2003 by Ei
5.0 out of 5 stars super women
This is an extraordinarily intimate and moving film about three women each at a crucial axis in their lives. Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2003 by Blair Mastbaum
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