|QUEEN MIMI (director/writer: Yaniv Rokah; cinematographer: Andrew Fox; editor: Ally Garrett; music: Ron Passaro; cast: Marie "Mimi" Haist, Amy Boatwright, Renée Zellweger, Zach Galifianakis; Runtime: 76; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Elliot V. Kotek; Xlrator Media; 2015)|
|"A wonderful human interest story
about a remarkable survivor."
by Dennis Schwartz
Israeli actor Yaniv Rokah is
writer-director in his debut feature film as a helmer.
When he worked in a coffee shop across the street from
the laundromat, he met a homeless woman living
there, Marie "Mimi" Haist, who
captivated him by her charm. By following
her around and recording her on his iPhone for
the last five years, Rokah comes up with a wonderful
human interest story about a remarkable survivor.
Through raising money from Kickstarter, a regular
movie camera was then provided.
lively and sympathetic documentary about the
woman called Queen Mimi and the difficult
situation she faced after first becoming homeless in
her 50s, as she walked out on her unfaithful husband
and lived on the streets of Santa Monica. The gentle
woman eventually found shelter at a Santa
Monica laundromat, thanks to the generous owner Stan
Fox giving her permission. Mimi during the
course of the 20 or so years she lived at the
laundromat was befriended by the then aspiring actor,
Galifianakis, a customer.
The good-natured Queen
Mimi survived living there because of her optimism,
her will power, her wise life-philosophy and her good
sense of humor. At the laundromat, she earns tips
is remarkably still alive and alert at ninety. The
no-frills and no-nonsense documentary is a feel-good
story about a delightful energetic heroine. who
dresses in pink, and is someone you can't help rooting
for. Of note, Queen Mimi is no longer homeless. Zach
Galifianakis has provided her with
her own apartment in the neighborhood and a mobile
phone, while Renée Zellweger,
another laundromat customer, has
furnished her apartment.
It had its world premiere in March at the Vail Film Festival.
REVIEWED ON 4/14/2016 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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