03 Oct The Equally Heartwarming & Heartbreaking – Millions: A Lottery Story
FlixFling Team Member Zoe explores the ups and downs of winning the lottery in her review of Millions: A Lottery Story :
Contrary to its name Millions: A Lottery Story by Paul LeBlanc is not really a story about winning the lottery. At its heart the documentary is really all about the quiet lives people lead and the unexpected places they find fulfillment
The film weaves between the story of the sixteen lunch ladies in rural Minnesota, who in 2003 won over ninety million dollars, and Curtis and Louie, the New York lotto icons who each won five million in the early eighties.
The women in Minnesota welcome viewers into their simple homes and bustling cafeteria. They bottle pickles, scavenge garage sales and milk cows all the while beaming with pride for the things they’ve done for others. Each woman’s story reflects the trappings of small-town America (polka! Bingo! 10-cent ice cream scoops!), with a charming sincerity.
Curtis and Louie are, by contrast, stories of loss and redemption. Due to poor investments, excessive spending and hard drinking both men long ago lost the five million they each won in the state lottery. While one might expect them to be bitter, the charismatic duo echoes the sentiments of their wealthier castmates: money doesn’t buy love and sure as hell can’t buy happiness. Those two things are an inside job, one the men claim they’ve finally gotten right after years of getting it wrong.
Equal parts heartwarming and heartbreaking Millions is content to let the engaging and endearing characters move the story along, albeit slowly, but in the end that’s really the point. For those looking for salacious tales of sex, drugs and luxury cars this is not the right film. This movie is not about extremes; instead the documentary seeks to expose the quiet peace people find in the ordinary. It doesn’t focus on how people lose themselves in the money, but rather how they find themselves in spite of it.
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