Last night Hollywood Elsewhere watched Steven Soderbergh‘s Kimi (aka KIMI). My basic take is “minor Soderbergh but pretty good…a reasonably decent Rear Window meets The Conversation tribute film, set in Seatlle during the pandemic. (With a tiny spritz of The Parallax View.) Nicely shot, cut, acted, produced…better than decent.”

Directed by Sodie, shot by “Peter Andrews“, written and produced by David Koepp.

Every compelling protagonist in a thriller needs a handicap of some kind. In Rear Window James Stewart‘s handicap was that his leg was in a cast. In Vertigo his handicap was that he suffered from a fear of heights. Kravitz’s handicap is that she’s agoraphobic.

And boy, she sure lives in a nice loft! How can she afford a place like this? Her mom bought it for her? She’s just a WFH tech — can’t be earning enough to buy a loft this spacious and bucks-up.

75% to 80% of Kravitz’s performance is absorbed or dominated by her perfectly styled blue hair. Kimi‘s hair stylist needs to stand up and take a bow…enjoy your moment! We’re watching the movie and thinking “okay, snappy Soderbergh and some nice Rear Window action” but two-thirds of the time all you can think about is HER HAIR!…HER HAIR!…LOOK AT THAT EXQUISITE COIF AND DYE JOB!

Friendo: “Yes, it’s true — the hair dominates. But Kravitz gives a good minimalist performance. She creates an intriguingly brittle character. She’s very true to everything that we all loathe about Millennials (i.e., Kravitz is 33).”

“I agree that it’s minor Soderbergh, but it’s good minor Soderbergh.”

HE: I loved it when she suddenly becomes a kind of Charles Bronson figure at the very end. Obviously a Hollywood-style solution to her troubles, but I emotionally wanted this to happen.

The paranoid mindset of The Conversation and The Parallax View influenced everyone and everything back in the early to mid ’70s. Ever since that time the corporate world has been the source of all the bad guys. A corporate guy appears, you KNOW he’s up to no good. It’s an idea that’s dominated thrillers for a good half-century, and will continue to dominate for the foreseeable future. Because corporations have been running the real domestic realm since Gerald Ford-slash-Jimmy Carter, and certainly since Ronald Reagan.

Friendo #2: “It’s a woke thing, right? Sexual assault. Zoey discovers an incident of sexual assault and possible murder.”

HE: True — a woman being assaulted by a rich corporate pig.

Friendo #2: “Textbook woke. There are only two melodramatic themes today — sexual assault and racism. I guess we can add LGBTQ concerns.”

HE: Except Rita Wilson, Kravitz’s boss and allegedly a sister-in-arms, doesn’t help when Kravitz reports the possible murder.

Friendo #2: “Yeah, but it’s more woke fan fiction. They always make these unbelievable scenarios at a time when it would NEVER happen. Maybe ten years ago. Not now. They want to tell stories about the world that existed before it became what it is post-#MeToo, post-George Floyd, etc. The nonstop obsession with women as victims is so tired by now. They’re like girl people. Not adults. Still children.”

HE: It would be more interesting if they threw in an unusual crime. Like dog-napping a la Lady Gaga. Or an older gay guy murdering his partner over infidelity a la Prick Up Your Ears.

Friendo #2: “Anything other than this. Make the victim a dude. Plus who wants to watch people wearing masks in movies now? It’s nice to see faces. So Zoey is just paranoid?”

HE: Agoraphobic. Afraid of life outdoors.