Personal Velocity: Three Portraits
starring Kyra Sedgwick, Parker Posey, Fairuza Balk, John Ventimiglia
written and directed by Rebecca Miller
by Walter Chaw Three short films about three women and the men who mistreat them, Rebecca Miller's DV triptych Personal Velocity: Three Portraits is a fine-looking film that plays a little like Catherine Breillat-lite--a series of iterations of Yeats's "Leda and the Swan" that suggest the evil that men do to women only makes women stronger. Emancipation for Delia (Kyra Sedgwick), battered wife and renowned slut, comes in the form of a handjob given a grateful backwoods hokum in the front seat of his beater; for book editor Greta (Parker Posey), in the separation from the mediocrity of her milquetoast husband and pocket dictator boss; and for runaway Paula (Fairuza Balk), in the latent maternal instinct she discovers through the betrayal of a young hitchhiker.