This assured and cleverly written second film from director/writer Rebecca Miller comes in three parts, all well acted and engaging. The narration by John Ventimiglia is particularly lively. The three characters that the film focuses on -- Delia (Kyra Sedgwick), Greta (Parker Posey), and Paula (Fairuza Balk) -- are all forced to make tough decisions. Delia is fleeing an abusive husband and must begin to create a new life for herself and three kids. She's one tough cookie, striking out at everyone who's trying to help her along the way. The dramatic and emotional scenes in this story will resonate with women trapped in abusive relationships, and Kyra Sedgwick is fantastic. Then there's the more upper-class story of Greta, who's on the move in the publishing business and slowly coming to the revelation that she must leave her nice-guy husband behind. This bit is more humorous and entertaining than the other two parts. The last story is about the semi-homeless Paula, who is also running away from a relationship and, in her case, pretty much everyone. This story is the least deeply felt of the three, and Paula seems a little bit like a sketch of many other runaway characters from various movies. A huge hit at Sundance, Personal Velocity epitomizes quality independent filmmaking and deserves a large audience.
by Adam Bregman review