Miller Girl Jenna Ortega’s Gothic Descent into Awkward Romance

Miller Girl Jenna Ortega: Jenna Ortega’s meteoric ascent as the goth-glam princess of Gen Z takes an aimless and awkward turn in “Miller’s Girl,” a new romantic horror film centered around cerebral characters that proves to be simply tiresome.

Crafted by the hand of newcomer Jade Halley Bartlett, the movie retells the age-old tale of a teenage girl captivated by her older teacher, spiraling into a seductive narrative. It aspires to echo Vladimir Nabokov’s depth but instead resonates more with The Police’s “Don’t Stand So Close to Me.”

Ortega assumes the role of 18-year-old Tennessee student Cairo Sweet, a precocious and affluent young lady with a tragically cool demeanor. “Literature is my solace in solitude, and writing is my only means of escape,” she declares, echoing sentiments typical of an 18-year-old.

Sweet is the type of student who delves into the extensive list of suggested texts before the school year begins, tackling “Finnegans Wake” voluntarily. With a 4.6 GPA and “crippling ennui,” she also sports a wardrobe reminiscent of Britney Spears circa “…Baby One More Time.”

Enter the disoriented literature teacher Jonathan Miller, portrayed by the hangdog Martin Freeman, exuding anguish and torment. A former writer turned educator, Miller authored “Apostrophes and Ampersands: Six Abysmally Romantic Short Stories” but hasn’t written since marriage. His wife, played by Dagmara Domińczyk, challenges his identity with biting words.

Miller becomes increasingly entangled with his star student, drawn to her writing prowess and apparent interest in him. Red flags abound as they recite each other’s work, with the wife warning of the danger posed by teenage girls.

Ortega channels a chilly Wednesday Addams, with undercurrents of savagery surfacing amidst the icy stillness. There’s no warmth here; Mr. Miller finds himself seduced by a literary artifact from the Paris Review.

Reality blurs with fantasy in their relationship, leaving viewers questioning whether they are true lovers or if it all exists in her mind. Bartlett keeps the depth of their connection elusive until the end, leaving the audience suspended in uncertainty.

Two supporting characters — Bashir Salahuddin as another teacher and Gideon Adlon as Sweet’s vampy, lollipop-licking friend — inject more intrigue, disrupting the balance of the central couple.

Bartlett allows the first half to linger excessively, repeatedly emphasizing the characters’ plight and losing itself in the mist that surrounds Sweet. The second half becomes agonizing, dominated by arguments and tears. Collectively, the movie might be less enjoyable than taking the SATs.

Miller Girl Jenna Ortega (1)

Notably, Bartlett’s script, once among the top unproduced screenplays in 2016, feels out of sync with the times of 2024, predating MeToo. The film raises questions about the necessity of a vengeful Lolita threatening to upheave lives and careers. Bartlett’s initial exploration of art and passion culminates in a conclusion that seemingly discredits women — an outcome unlikely to be her intention.

“Miller’s Girl,” distributed by Lionsgate and hitting theaters Friday, carries an R rating for sexual content, language, teen smoking, and drinking. With a runtime of 93 minutes, it earns a rating of one star out of four.

FAQ

What is the Miller’s Girl about?

A creative writing assignment sparks intricate dynamics between a teacher and a gifted student, unfolding complexities that shape their relationship and bring depth to the narrative.

Is Miller’s Girl a romance?

The narrative of ‘Miller’s Girl’ unfolds with themes of deception, romance, and a compelling dynamic between a literature teacher and a talented student, creating a central focus on their provocative relationship.

Where is Millers girl being filmed?

Jenna Ortega and Martin Freeman headline a film directed by Bartlett, supported by a cast including Gideon Adlon, Bashir Salahuddin, Dagmara Domińczyk, and Christine Adams. Filming unfolded in Cartersville, Georgia, marking a significant step in the project’s realization.

Is Miller’s Girl Rated R?

The film carries an R rating due to its depiction of sexual content, pervasive language, instances of teen smoking, and alcohol consumption, reflecting mature themes and content

Also Read: Melissa Barrera Reunites with Jenna Ortega: ‘Scream’ Cast Displays Unbreakable Bond

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