To accompany Miranda July’s upcoming absurdist satire, “Kajillionaire,” composer Emile Mosseri partnered with Angel Olsen to create a haunting cover of Bobby Vinton’s 1964 classic, “Mr. Lonely” — and the full rendition is now available.
Olsen’s whispery, ethereal rendering of the forlorn ’60s ballad, written from the perspective of a deployed American soldier during the Vietnam War, was born out of a meeting between Olsen, July and Mosseri scheduled one week before the pandemic hit.
“I just so happened to be in Los Angeles,” Olsen said in a statement. “So I met with them both, and we talked about cadence, and we talked about life, and we talked about the film. And Miranda directed me to sing the cover in the way she and Emile thought it would represent the feelings behind the film. It was a lovely experience. Later, Miranda and I went outside for a little break, and we did a little improv with each other. Just us.”
According to Mosseri, Olsen had been his and July’s top choice for a recording artist. Before working on “Kajillionaire,” the award-winning composer scored Joe Talbot’s “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” and Lee Isaac Chung’s “Minari.”
The film follows a dysfunctional family of con artists scheming and swindling their way across L.A. to make ends meet: Robert (Richard Jenkins), Theresa (Debra Winger) and their 26-year-old daughter, Old Dolio (Evan Rachel Wood). After one particularly desperate heist, the family entices a cheerful stranger (Gina Rodriguez) to join their next scam.
“Kajillionaire” makes its theatrical debut on Sept. 25. Mosseri and Olsen’s “Mr. Lonely” is now available for streaming and purchase.