‘Gemini,’ neo-noir film, gets better after reflection

“Gemini” promo poster features Lola Kirke (right) and Zoë Kravitz.

“Gemini” is an odd, little film I didn’t particularly enjoy as I watched.

But somehow the neo-noir, female-centric thriller got better in my mind’s eye the more I thought about it an hour or two later.

And even more so the next day.

Lola Kirke excels as Jill LeBeau, personal assistant-bff to actress Heather Anderson (Zoë Kravitz), who’s forced into becoming an amateur sleuth when she becomes a suspect in a shooting death.

She’s authentically awkward — un-Tinsel Town-ish, un-star-like — in the starring role that has her clad in clothing that look very much like Goodwill rejects.

Not that far removed from the part she played in Noah Baumbauch’s “Mistress America.”

Kravitz, daughter of actress Lisa Bonet and musician Lenny Kravitz, also reproduces reality as a hard-drinking, troubled starlet who, having broken up with her boyfriend, wants to test the waters of lesbianism.

The moody, 92-minute Los Angeles-based film that probes celebrity and aloneness is directed by Aaron Katz, who’s  credited with being a pioneer in mumblecore (a low-budget American indie trend that spotlights naturalistic acting and oft-improvised, seemingly meaningless chatter rather than plot).

“Gemini” features a score that ranges from jazz riffs that pound at your brain like a jackhammer to passages as soft as a goose’s backside.

And scores of closeups.

And a series of quiet, almost-sneakily humorous moments.

John Cho, in a minor role, is a detective who seems to stalk Jill almost as much as the paparazzi.

When all was said and done, I didn’t care nearly as much about whodunit as I did about the characters the slow-starting film painstakingly develops.

“Gemini” opens Friday at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – New Mission in San Francisco.

 Contact Woody Weingarten at www.vitalitypress.com or voodee@sbcglobal.net

About the Author

Woody WeingartenWoody Weingarten, who can be reached at www.vitalitypress.com/ or voodee@sbcglobal.net, can’t remember when he couldn’t talk — or play with words. His first poem was published in high school but when his hormones announced the arrival of adulthood, he figured he’d rather eat than rhyme. So he switched to journalism. And whadda ya know, the bearded, bespectacled fella has used big, small and hyphenated words professionally since jumpstarting his career in New Yawk City more than 60 years ago. Today the author of the book “Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner’s breast cancer” is also a reviewer-critic, blogger and publisher — despite allegedly being retired. During his better-paid years as a wage slave he was an executive editor and writer for daily and weekly publications in California, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. He won writing awards for public service and investigation, features, columns, editorials and news. Woody also has published weekly and monthly newspapers, and written a national column for “Audio” magazine. A graduate of Colgate University, he owned a public relations/ad agency and managed an advertising publication. The father of two and grandfather of three, he and his wife, Nancy Fox, have lived in San Anselmo in Marin County for three decades. He figures they'll stay.View all posts by Woody Weingarten →