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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Miller's Girl (2024) - Forbidden Pages: A Tantalizing Tale of Temptation

Rating: ★★★½☆ (3.5/5 stars)

Released 01-26-2024

Watched 01-28-2024

Reviewed 01-30-2024

Watched in the theater Using Cinemark Movie Club

"I am 18 and entirely unremarkable"

"Miller's Girl" emerges as a distinct entrant in the 2024 cinematic landscape, blending the elements of black comedy and drama with a narrative that teeters on the edge of a sexual thriller but doesn't quite take the leap. Directed by Jade Halley Bartlett, the film introduces us to a provocative dynamic between Cairo Sweet, portrayed by Jenna Ortega, and her teacher, Jonathan Miller, played by Martin Freeman. Their relationship, sparked by a creative writing assignment, unfolds into a narrative ripe with complexity and moral ambiguity.

Jenna Ortega shines brilliantly as Cairo, bringing depth and nuance to her character that is both captivating and compelling. Her performance stands out as a testament to her burgeoning talent, confirming that she is more than just a rising star; she's an actress with a commanding presence and an undeniable force in Hollywood. Martin Freeman, always reliable, complements Ortega's performance with his portrayal of Jonathan Miller, adding layers to the film's intricate exploration of power dynamics and forbidden desire.

However, "Miller's Girl" stumbles in its ambition to carve out a niche within the sexual thriller genre. The film flirts with the conventions of the genre but ultimately shies away from fully embracing its darker, more provocative potential. This hesitation leaves a palpable sense of unfulfilled promise as if the narrative is holding back from diving into the depths that its premise suggests.

Adding to the film's challenges is its limited theatrical release. With screenings confined to a handful of theaters, far removed from more accessible locations, one can't help but ponder the distribution strategy employed by Lionsgate. We had to drive past a number of theaters here in the Dallas area even to find it. This restricted availability not only inconveniences eager audiences but also raises questions about the studio's confidence in the film's broader appeal. Is it a strategic move to cultivate an air of exclusivity or a miscalculation that undermines the film's potential success at the box office?

In conclusion, "Miller's Girl" earns a solid 3.5 out of 5 stars. While it dazzles with Jenna Ortega's stellar performance and presents a thought-provoking premise, the film ultimately doesn't quite deliver on the promise of a groundbreaking sexual thriller. Its restricted release further complicates its reception, leaving audiences to wonder what could have been if the film had been more widely available. Is it worth a watch? Sure, wait for it on streaming; there is no need to drive around and find it at a theater almost near you.

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