Miller’s Girl Movie Review Rating:

Star Cast: Jenna Ortega, Martin Freeman, Gideon Adlon, and Bashir Salahuddin.

Director: Jade Halley Bartlett

Miller's Girl Movie Review
Miller’s Girl Movie Review Is Out! (Picture Credit: IMDb)

What’s Good: Jenna Ortega and Martin Freeman are great actors who carry the movie to the end.

What’s Bad: The story, pacing, and character development stumble several times throughout the running time, so by the end, everything feels like it needs more cohesion.

Loo Break: Miller’s Girl is a short film, but even so, the pacing could be more interesting, so no one would blame you if you need to take a break during it, as things get boring sometimes.

Watch or Not? There are better options, so only watch if you are a hardcore Jenna Ortega fan.

Language: English (with subtitles).

Available On: Theatrical release

Runtime: 93 Minutes.

User Rating:

Every once in a while, we see actors falling into the Nicolas Cage syndrome, meaning that we end up seeing great actors working in bad movies with no reason why behind it; maybe it is only the money that was offered, or perhaps they saw something in the script that it isn’t there in the final result, and so it is the turn of Jenna Ortega and Martin Freeman to be in such a movie, Miller’s Girl, a film that arrives to big screen having fundamental issues in its story, structure, and characters.

Miller's Girl Movie Review
Miller’s Girl Movie Review Is Out! (Picture Credit: IMDb)

Miller’s Girl Movie Review: Script Analysis

Developing a bad review for a movie with potential is hard, and coming from a first-time director is even worse. Still, bad feedback can be constructive, which is how I feel about Miller’s Girl. This film tries to be deep by using big words in its many dialogue scenes and tries to go into dangerous places with its premise. Still, it seems to be afraid to go into those places entirely or to say something meaningful about the events in question, and the result is a movie lost in the limbo of insecurity.

Miller’s Girl takes the approach of a fan faction movie coming straight from the Wattpad platform. In this place, authors write detailed original or fan fiction projects that, more often than not, end up falling in the erotic fiction category, displaying several types of relationships and going into detail about why they are excellent. There is nothing wrong with this type of writing. Some fanfiction writers are great and can create amazing plotlines and original characters. Still, sadly, while Miller’s Girl feels like something that came out from Wattpad takes to its handling of a relationship between a student and her teacher, it lacks the execution to go beyond that.

This means that the film ends up being just exactly what the audience thinks when they hear the word Wattpad, meaning shallow characters, erotic fantasies, dumb decisions, and strange character dynamics that favor the erotic angle instead of actual character exploration. This happens to the characters of Jonathan and Cairo, who have a fantastic presence but zero chemistry, so selling the romantic or erotic angle between them feels entirely artificial like they are being forced by the writer’s pen instead of the characters acting by themselves.

Other characters, except for one, move through the story but are primarily fillers. So, the entire focus of the piece is on these two characters who don’t have chemistry with each other, even though the movie presents their dynamic as having an almost impossible level of attraction. The story also suffers from weird pacing issues; there are a lot of conversations that should have ended a couple of minutes before they do and scenes that feel like they are in the wrong place. It is weird, and it hurts the impact of the story.

Miller’s Girl Movie Review: Star Performance

Jenna Ortega is, without a doubt, the movie’s star; the young actress knows how to create intensity, desire, and even a bit of crazy, and it all fits within her performance. Here in Miller’s Girls, Ortega is going for an unhinged performance as the movie progresses, revealing that her character is just as awful as her teacher. Ortega also recently appeared in the dreadful Finestkind, so she is in a rough patch with her projects; she and her agent should be more careful before the Wednesday goodwill disappears and Ortega begins to be linked with terrible movies.

Freeman is exemplary; his presence is quite nice on-screen, but his performance won’t blow your mind; he just does what he has often been doing since his time in Sherlock. It would be nice to see Freeman doing something different in the future. However, Gideon Adlon stands out quite a bit from the cast thanks to her big energy and insane charisma. Let’s hope this film serves her well to see her in many future projects.

Miller's Girl Movie Review
Miller’s Girl Movie Review Is Out! (Picture Credit: IMDb)

Miller’s Girl Movie Review: Direction, Music

This is the first film by Jade Halley Bartlett. She writes and directs the movie, and it shows that she still has a lot to learn. Miller’s Girl shows potential, but Jade Halley Bartlett needed to be more confident in her story to go all the way and present something that goes beyond a thought exercise. The cinematography by Daniel Brothers does a lot of heavy lifting in making the movie feel like one, and the lighting is impressive in certain scenes; the film looks professional, even if the storytelling feels amateurish.

The score, Elyssa Samsel, also seems to fall victim to the sloppy story development and irregular pacing, as the music is intended to raise anxiety and make the movie feel like a proper thriller. Still, because the story doesn’t land the payoffs, the music feels like a bit of a copout, a misleading tool that builds tension but never releases it, and then it fades.

Miller’s Girl Movie Review: Last Words

Miller’s Girl sees Jade Halley Bartlett as a brand-new talent worth following; her ideas are not bad at all, but the execution is lacking quite a bit; but this can only be fixed with more time and practice as the director will indeed find a lot more confidence and competence as she keeps improving her abilities. It is nice to see Jenna Ortega and Martin Freeman in the movie, but it will probably make for a stain in their filmographies instead of something to be excited about.

Miller’s Girl Trailer

Miller’s Girl released on 26 January, 2024.

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