Hit & Miss
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Mia (Chloë Sevigny) has her life all sorted out. She makes good money working as a top-level hit woman for the Yorkshire mob. She’s using the cash to transition from the male body she was born with into the woman she really is and is almost ready to have the surgery done. She lives a secretive, cloistered life in a Spartan loft apartment—a huge improvement over the abusive life she left behind.

But it all changes when Mia receives a letter saying that she’s been named the guardian of a son she didn’t know she had after Wendy, her former lover, dies of cancer. To complicate matters, there are three other kids, born of other fathers, who also have been entrusted to her care. The bills are past due on their farm, the electric’s off, and the bullying landlord’s ready to evict them.

So Mia’s facing an impossible choice: does she walk away and leave the kids, protecting her job, her safety, her identity, and her life? Or does she stay to take care of the children, setting aside everything she’s worked for—and likely endangering not only herself but the children as well?

When I first saw Hit & Miss listed on Netflix, I thought, This can’t work—it has too many storylines thrown together for one series. But I decided to watch it because I’m a huge fan of Chloë Sevigny. I’m so glad I did.

The role of Mia doesn’t require a lot of talking, since the job of an assassin demands that she have her guard up at all times. The task for the lead, then, is all about nuance, body language, understatement, and range. She has to convey the ice-cold precision of a faceless assassin, the trembling vulnerability of a pre-surgical transgender woman dating a man for the first time, and the fiercely protective mothering instincts when her young daughter has been harmed—all while holding back as much of herself as possible. In her cool blue eyes, her measured timing, and the regulation of every breath, we read the careful calculation of every choice and consequence open to her. Sevigny’s iconic, edgy sensuality and gravelly voice work perfectly, making her completely believable and relatable in the dual-gender role. In each moment, she owns the screen.

The film’s not all about the role of Mia, though. Hit & Miss is also about family, and the children’s scenes are sparkling, heartwarming, and heartrending. The film explores how the children come to accept Mia as transgender; they ask honest, touching questions—and not the same ones we might ask. As time goes on, it’s the children who ask the questions that really matter.

In casting a transgender murderer from a lowly background as the mother-savior of a group of exploited orphans, the writer raises challenging questions about our concept of family, identity, and morality, just as Mia asks herself those questions.

In the final, cliffhanging moment, the film leaves it all up to us to decide.

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