Film Review: Golden Exits

Alex Ross Perry’s observational Golden Exits offers good performances and a meditative look at lives of young and middle-aged adults.

Naomi is a young intern who travels to New York to work temporarily with an archivist. Her arrival disrupts the lives of two families in Brooklyn…

Golden Exits revolves around the lives of a group of characters which are somewhat intertwined. The film focuses on Naomi as a catalytic force, making the main characters examine their relationship with their loved ones and themselves.

Writer-director Alex Ross Perry does not take the predictable route, and he should be applauded for this. Instead, the film concentrates on already fractious relationships. There is a certain amount of navel-gazing in the film. The protagonists are upper middle class, and imbue the trappings of this world. Some of the concerns are only applicable to those of such a class, but this is acknowledged.

The first half of Golden Exits is stronger than the second. There is an ambiguity over the direction the film will take, which holds the viewer’s attention. The second half lacks the vim of this as events unfold subtly. The relationship between the sets of sisters become more significance, as the single sisters take on more importance.

The film is about relationships, but also about being comfortable defying societal expectations. In this sense Naomi’s character extinguishes slightly. There is not much for her to do, leaving the emphasis on the two single sisters. The conversations later in the film point to an empowerment in independence, but a gnawing dissatisfaction. Save for a brief reference, it is refreshing to see adulthood being viewed without the framing reference of having children.

Emily Browning and Chloë Sevingny give decent performances. It is Mary-Louise Parker, Lily Rabe, and Jason Schwartzman who really stand out though. The score feels a little too present, whilst Brooklyn is romanticised, despite most of the action taking place in just a few locations.

Overall, it feels like Golden Exits stops just short of saying something truly meaningful.

Golden Exits is being screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2017.

Stuff To Look At

With the Oscar nominations being announced this week, here are glimpses of some of the nominees, plus upcoming features…

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson’s latest film The Grand Budapest Hotel boasts an enviable cast headed by Ralph Fiennes and featuring some frequent Anderson collaborators such as Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman and Tilda Swinton. As the above clip illustrates, the film concerns the adventures of hotel  concierge Gustave and new lobby boy Zero. The Grand Budapest Hotel is released in UK cinemas on 7th March 2014.

RoboCop

Above is a OmniFoundation public service announcement. It will be interesting to see if this new version is as scathing in its criticism of corporate power and corruption as the original. After all, it would be timely. RoboCop is hits UK screens on 7th February 2014.

Her

Spike Jonze’s Her has received five nominations at this year’s Oscars; perhaps not as many as fans were expecting. I am really looking forward to seeing the film, which stars Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams. Her is released in the UK on 14th February 2014.

Bad Neighbours

Zac Efron plays a college student and nightmare neighbour in upcoming comedy Bad Neighbours. The film has a likeable enough cast; if the jokes are frequent and amusing it should be entertaining fare. Bad Neighbours is out in cinemas on 9th May 2014.

Under The Skin

Under The Skin has been a source of interest at the festivals where it has been screened; the film gets a cinematic release on 14th March 2014. Starring Scarlell Johansson, Under The Skin is science fiction thriller.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Look at this exciting new poster for The Amazing Spider-Man 2! Andrew Garfield returns as Peter Parker for the second installment of the reboot, facing a plethora of villains. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is out in UK cinemas on 18th April 2014.

The Monuments Men

Matt Damon and George Clooney reunite in the above clip from The Monuments Men. I’m not going to lie, I am most looking forward to seeing Bill Murray in this. The Monuments Men is hits UK cinemas on 14th February 2014.

Lone Survivor

Marky Mark stars as a soldier in Afghanistan in Lone Survivor. The film is directed by Peter Berg of Battleship fame, so expect a lot of military talk. Lone Survivor is out in UK cinemas on 31st January 2014.

Muppets Most Wanted

This above advert for Muppets Most Wanted, which was screened during the Golden Globes last Sunday, is fantastic. Marketing for The Muppets was brilliant, and Disney look to continue the trend for its sequel. Muppets Most Wanted hits the big screen on 28th March 2014.