A heinous crime tests the complex relationship between a tenacious personal assistant and her Hollywood starlet boss. As the assistant travels across Los Angeles to unravel the mystery, she must stay one step ahead of a determined policeman and confront her own understanding of friendship, truth and celebrity.
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★★★★ review by Lucy on Letterboxd
CIFF 2017: film #1
this is what lola gets for screwing over amy dunne in gone girl
★★★★ review by matt lynch on Letterboxd
I hope Aaron Katz keeps making drone-y LA mumblenoirs forever.
★★★★ review by Jacob on Letterboxd
AFI Fest 2017: Movie #5
You've heard of neo-noir, but have you heard of... neon noir? Well, that's what this is.
Gemini is a fun, sexy mystery that's here and gone before you know it. It's clear from the opening titles alone how strong the atmosphere is -- gorgeous and effective visual direction, dedicated color palettes, and an enticing score to hold it all together. Through both humor and tension, the seeds of this mystery are planted early on, and we're meant to be scratching our heads throughout. To be honest, I guessed the twist pretty early on, but that made it no less fun to watch unfold. I can look past some strange character decisions and rushed explanations, but what I struggle to make peace with is the underwhelming conclusion. I just wanted one more big thing to happen, something to leave me wondering still.
The story is arguably the weakest aspect of this, but that's not to say it's bad -- it's still an enjoyable noir flick, and the strong technical elements and clever casting elevate it even higher. Lola Kirke and Zoë Kravitz should be in every movie.
★★★★ review by Danica on Letterboxd
lola kirke and zoe kravitz: *sing karaoke with neon lighting*
me: POETIC CINEMA
★★★½ review by Patrick Devitt on Letterboxd
A fascinating trajectory in cinema throughout the last decade has been experiencing the graduation of mumblecore filmmakers voyaging into the more financed realms that their medium has to offer. While some directors have chosen to remain with the comforting boundaries of their work, director Aaron Katz certainly steps away from his habitual range with his latest endeavor, Gemini. Pairing a heavily Raymond Chandler-influenced noirish narrative with the dialectical precision of Lola Kirke, there's an authentic feeling of innovation for the all too familiar genre.
Kirke's first foray outside of comedy is a genuine phenomenon to witness. Her rise to indie stardom in 2015's ever so charming Mistress America exhibited a vast understanding of the actress' command over the English language. Noah Baumbach continuously draws out the rigidity that he demands from his ensemble in order to capture his characters' specific patois. The sophisticated control that is she brings to her performance there fully transfers over into the idiosyncratic role Lola Kirke dominates in Gemini. Conquering the subdued nature as the assistant to a paparazzi-engulfed star (Zoë Kravitz), the fastidious screenplay (also penned by Katz) allows for her to truly shine as the character is forced to cope with an unforeseen tragedy.
The abundance of new releases evoking a distinctive neon hue more often than not overshadows the central focus of the film. Katz collaborates for the fourth time with cinematographer Andrew Reed to elicit rich textural imagery of the Los Angeles-set terrain that Gemini occupates. Reed's conscientious eye behind the camera manages to find a sense of equilibrium between the luminous nightlife and the residential neighborhoods of the city. There is never an overpowering force within the photography to draw the viewer away from its key focus: Kirke's Jill LeBeau.
Despite the sharp literary influence of Gemini, Katz makes an unusual choice to use Jill as the spotlight for his attention. The formal tropes within the "whodunit" subgenre are put aside as a Shakespearian analysis of dynamic character is untangled. It's an almost unthinkable decision to use noir undertones as a backdrop for what's purely a character study, but Aaron Katz has crafted such a delicate tale of allure that he somehow manages to pull it all off with ease.
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