Film Personal Velocity greets three women at a transitional point in their lives. Delia (Kyra Sedgewick) runs from an abusive marriage for the sake of her kids; Greta (Parker Posey) finds her own ambition contrasting sharply with her too comfortable relationship; Paula (Faruza Balk) finds herself at the epicenter of everything try to find a path out. You can visit the official website if you want a more detailed synopsis. I would recommend however that you greet the film as I did, cold. This is a case were it’s important to know as little as possible about the stories which are about to unfold. So I’ll just give my impressions.

It’s a port-manteau film, three separate stories connected thematically, and in this case joined together by a voice over using words, I suspect from the original short stories the piece is based upon. Each is intriguing and shot with the nimbleness and risk taking of a new director on their first project. The performances are uniformally excellent, although the most surprising is Sedgewick, who has all of the fluffiness of ‘Singles’ and ‘Something To Talk About’ scrubbed out of her offering work of depth and range. Parker Posey revisits the character she played in ‘Clockwatchers’ and Faruza Balk proves once more that the American film industry is disastrously selective when it come to casting, demonstrating yet again she could carry any film.

The trouble with this kind of film is that you can be in danger of making you subject matter so interesting, that the audience can feel at turns disorientated and cheated. In ‘New York Stories’, for example, it’s impossible to imagine that any of the three situations could continue past the ending we are offered; in ‘The Joy Luck Club’, although we find a multitude of stories, collectively they create a narrative. Here, unfortunately we have what feel like the first acts of three really great films; at the point when the second at is supposed be starting we are somewhere else following a different character. Perhaps I’ve missed what the point; I just feel as though I should know what happened to the three protagonists after their life changing decisions.

Then again, if the only criticism I can find for a film is that I wanted to know more and see more, then its obviously doing something right.

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