Synopsis by Mark Deming
Three women whose lives have followed very different paths ponder their pasts and their futures in this omnibus film from second-time director Rebecca Miller, adapted from her acclaimed short story collection of the same name. Delia (Kyra Sedgwick) grew up in a fractured household; her mother abandoned the family when Delia was a child, and her father (Brian Tarantina) was a drug-addled loser who could barely be prodded off the couch. When she entered adolescence, Delia realized that she could use her body to get men to do as she pleased. While this gained her a feeling of power and self-sufficiency, it also earned her a reputation as the "class slut," and the end product was her marriage to Kurt (David Warshofsky). Greta (Parker Posey) is the daughter of a successful lawyer (Ron Leibman) who left her mother when she was young and offered Greta criticism rather than affection. Plagued with self-doubt, Greta is squandering her literary talents editing cookbooks and is married to Lee (Tim Guinee. When Thavi (Joel de la Fuente), a respected and successful young novelist, asks Greta to edit his next novel, it forces her to reassess herself on a number of levels. Finally, Paula (Fairuza Balk), yet another product of a fractured family, ran away from her mother and was homeless until she met Vincent (Seth Gilliam), who took her in and became her boyfriend. A year later, Paula is uncertain in her feelings about Vincent, unsettled to learn that she's pregnant, and startled after witnessing a murder while out clubbing with a friend; she hits the road again, and soon picks up a fellow alienated teen, Kevin (Lou Taylor Pucci), who bears the scars of a recent -- and very brutal -- beating. Personal Velocity: Three Portraits was honored with the Grand Jury Prize at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival.
child-rearing, daughter, domestic-violence, dysfunctional, editor, jealousy, marriage, pregnancy, runaway [from home], writer