At The Movies
"Personal Veloci " tells three tales of women awakening to their inner selves.
Copley News Service
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echnically speaking, Kyra Sedgwick "stars" in
one-third of Personal Velocity, the new drama
by upcoming writer-director Rebecca Miller,
who adapted her own book of short stories for
the big screen.
The central theme of Personal Velocity is that we each
progress through life at our own pace. The film is structured as
three separate episodes, each about a woman at a crossroads.
In Sedgwick's segment, the actress plays Delia, a spirited
working-class woman from small-town New York who
leaves her abusive husband and sets out to reclaim the
power she has lost.
Parker Posey takes the role of Greta, an ambitious cook-
book editor struggling with issues of fidelity to her kind but
unexciting husband. Fairuza Balk is Paula, a troubled young
woman who takes off on a journey with a young hitchhiker
after a strange, fateful encounter on a New York street.
Miller directed the film, winner of the Grand Jury Prize
at this year's Sundance film festival, using freeze-framed
digital video to punctuate the stories she is telling. The
daughter. of University of Michigan graduate and Death of
a Salesman playwright Arthur Miller and his third wife, the
late Magnum photographer Inge Morath, Miller is married
to actor Daniel Day-Lewis, who like his wife also has one
Jewish parent, English actress Jill Balcon.
Born to a Jewish mother and "WASP" father from a
prominent New York family, the 37-year-old Sedgwick is a
bona fide show business veteran, having entered the profes-
sion at 16 on the soap opera Another World.
Sedgwick has starred in at least three films with a Jewish
theme. She portrayed a Jewish teenager in love during the
Nazi occupation of Poland who takes part in the Warsaw
Ghetto uprising in 1984's War and Love. She played a
young Jewish woman in New York searching for her past
right after World War II in the 1991 Emmy-winning Miss
Rose White. In 2000's What's Cooking, she acted the role of a
Jewish lesbian who brings her lover (Julianna Margulies)
home for the holidays.
Sedgwick now juggles her busy life as actress, including six
projects this year alone, with the day-to-day realities of being
a Manhattan power mom and the wife of actor Kevin Bacon.
Here she talks about Personal Velocity, her career and per-
female actress. I'm so sick of that, though.
I feel like, for whatever reason, great roles haven't come
my way in film, or I do a really great role and then the
movie doesn't ever come out. That's happened quite a bit
lately with my independent movies.
Q: Isn't watching Personal Velocity like being a fly on the wall?
KS: It's three different stories and they're all vividly done.
It's true — you are a fly on the wall. They're very intimate
portraits and I think there's a real voyeuristic quality for the
audience, as well as for the actor.
We really felt like we were just being watched. Some of
that is due to the way it was directed and the richness of
Q: When you take on the issue of spousal abuse, do you
feel a certain level of responsibility?
KS: Absolutely. There is tons of responsibility and I defi-
nitely felt it. There are a lot of women out there getting
Q: What was your reaction when Rebecca Miller hand-
ed you this role?
KS: I was so happy that she saw me as that character and
saw that I was capable of doing it. I really feel like an
untapped resource, in terms of what I can do as an actor.
I really do. So I was happy to be able to do something so
different and so rich and so difficult.
Q: You feel like an untapped resource?
KS: Yeah, I do. I have a lot of places that I can go as an
actor and I don't think that I get the chance so much, at
least in film. We've all heard about the woes of the
Kyra Sedgwick: "Untapped resource."