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Film Review: She Came To Me

FILM REVIEW
SHE CAME TO ME
Rated R
102 Minutes
Released October 6th

In She Came to Me, writer/director Rebecca Miller carries your eye to see what it needs to see to flesh out each character and what makes them who they are. A pair of shoes, and how and when they are taken off or put on, the way they wear their clothes, the way they walk, the way they use their hands. Dramatic energy shifts to comedic and back to dramatic flawlessly. You will see yourself in these characters. The film opened at the Berlin Film Festival in February 2023 and now has a limited release in theatres. 

Miller is like a good sports coach who designs plays reflecting the skills, talents, and personality of their personnel. This director takes her beautifully written story, populates it with some of the best actors working today, and guides her audience through it. I even believe that if you took the cast and scrambled them, giving them each other’s roles, the story would still work effectively. These players are Anne Hathaway, Peter Dinklage, Marisa Tomei, Joanna Kulig, and Brian d”Arcy James, with young Evan Ellison and Harlow Jane rounding out the ensemble. Miller uses these actors’ own personalities and the experiences that they bring to the playing field to build fascinating and intricate characters.

Miller began her career as a painter and sculptor before she became a filmmaker and novelist. That makes perfect sense after you’ve seen the movie because of her command of visual imagery and the way she paints each scene with vivid colors and shapes. The fabrics and the décor tell you minute details about the person or people inhabiting the space, indoor or outdoor. Miller is also an actor, which explains her skill in guiding her cast. I didn’t know when I saw the movie that she is the daughter of famed playwright Henry Miller. Maybe that explains some of her talent, too.

The only thing I didn’t like about this movie is the name. It seems too generic for a mind-blowing piece like this. I would perhaps have named it Flow or something else intriguing and mysterious. The story is beautifully presented and will open itself up to you by the end. Miller knows how to make the medium of cinema speak. The placement and timing of every scene is perfection. The juxtaposition of moments in time is not confusing but rather reveals character and motives just at the right time for you to get what she’s telling you. I’m not going to tell you the story here. I’m not even going to tell you what it’s about. Just watch the movie and enjoy. As a bonus, you will even get to see two beautifully staged original opera scenes that fit right in with the narrative. This time, I implore you not to read other reviews before watching this film. Just let it speak to you on its own terms; let Miller reveal the story and the characters to you. In 2010, Miller received an honorable mention for her film, The Ballad of Jack and Rose, on MTV’s “2010 Best Female Directors Who Should Have Won an Oscar.” This year, I believe She Came to Me should be a contender for Best Picture and other Oscars.

Kathryn Whitney Boole has spent most of her life in the entertainment industry, which has been the backdrop for remarkable adventures with extraordinary people.  She is a Talent Manager with Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica. kboole@gmail.com

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