By Daniel Barnes
*Opens Friday, April 5, at the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission Theater in San Francisco.
Land Ho! director Aaron Katz delivers this meandering Hollywood noir about a beleaguered but loyal personal assistant accused of murdering her own boss.
The wonderful Lola Kirke plays Jill, long-time friend-ployee of Zoe Kravitz’s Heather, a flaky actress who uses their complicatedly close relationship to make dehumanizing demands and keep Jill’s ambitions at bay. When Heather turns up murdered in her own home, a number of suspects emerge (including Heather’s unstable ex-boyfriend and an angry producer), but most of the evidence points to Jill.
Gemini essentially blends together the character dynamics from the last two Olivier Assayas films, then filters them through a sun-dazed, borderline apathetic sensibility. This results in a film that always seems to be studying the backs of its own hands. Lola Kirke is a strong enough actress to do something with nothing, and Gemini only succeeds as a starring vehicle for her nervous poise. However, the one-note Kravitz makes for a pretty lousy Juliette Binoche.