What a joy it is to come across a great talent. In that respect, this year could be a very good one for the filmmaker Michel Saville. The comedy/drama debut of the New Zealand writer/director, Millie Liz Law, It garnered much attention on the festival circuit. The story, based on her own experience, tracks Millie, a would-be architect (Anna Scotney), whose anxiety attack turns into a social media braggart. Millie resorts to posting fake content until she discovers her life is suddenly in freefall. It may be the 21st century, but Saville’s powerful insights into the human condition and the impact of anxiety create a compelling and enchanting story that deserves our attention.
“A lot of my work, like this movie, is inspired by personal experiences,” Saville shared. “I was heading to a festival in France for a short film I’d madeEileen leaves. The New Zealand Film Commission was paying me to go, and I missed the trip. You showed up on the wrong day. The counter person told me to buy another ticket and it would cost 3,000. I didn’t have that money, so I had a complete meltdown and thought, ‘I’m going to have to pretend I’m in France for three weeks, because I’m too ashamed that this happened.’
With some modifications, this has become a premise Millie’s. Michelle Saville opened up more about the film and her own experiences in this exclusive MovieWeb interview.
Lie low, fly high
Until now, the audience has been charmed in this way Millie’s unfold. Think of it as a second cousin to the perks of being a wallflower With a penchant for independent film. Anna Scotney has the role of Millie in this world-hitting film. Here, Millie has a panic attack at Wellington Airport and gets off the plane just before it takes off for New York City.
It’s meant to be a life-changing journey, for sure, as the architecture training Millie landed in was very competitive. Overwhelmed, she begins posting fake content on social media — of plane views and more — and continues to dig herself deeper into a hole. If only she could make enough cash to book another flight to New York.
“There are a variety of reasons we do things like that, but for me, it was just wanting to look successful,” Saville noted. “I had severe anxiety, imposter syndrome, and felt like a con, not wanting to be found out for the fraud I thought I was. I just wanted people to love me and be accepted in society. On a deeper level, it’s my survival instinct, staying with The herd, the feeling of security.
Any doubts about this last statement? Head to Instagram and TikTok and see what you find there. She added, “Part of my past is shown in this film with the fact that I grew up in the Philippines as a missionary child, and there is a profound loss of face in the culture.” “A lot of that was put on me, you know, not to embarrass myself and certainly not to embarrass my family.”
No doubt Millie’s It hits the right notes as both a satirical and social commentary about today’s culture steeped in social media. Filtering it all through Millie in this movie, Savill manages to capture a unique personality and exigent circumstances that most people can relate to.
“I wanted to find out why I felt such a deep sense of shame and loss of face,” Saville said of creating the project, which she co-wrote with Ellie Kent. “I wanted to explore psychology, and when I shared what I did with some friends, they did similar things. I thought, ‘Well, this could be the nucleus of a movie character who actually does that, and why does she do that, and where does the lie take her?’ So that was it.” .
Millie Liz Law, which was an official selection of SXSW, was nominated for several awards at the Berlin International Film Festival and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival. When asked what she felt the audience was most surprised about when experiencing the film, Saville said: “They seemed amazed at the mixed feelings they have for Millie. They both love her and also want to yell at her. We get such mixed feelings about the character and what she does.”
“I also think the twists and turns have really surprised people,” Saville added. “I am often told how unpredictable the film is, and how it goes places audiences can’t predict. Hopefully people will be surprised by the balance of comedy and drama throughout, and how they are on the edge of their seats during the entire movie.”
Millie’s It opens theatrically June 30 in New York City, followed by a wider theatrical run and a VOD release later this year.