Saturday, 15 May 2021

Golden Exits (2017)

A film comes along sometimes which leaves you wondering why on earth the filmmakers bothered making it. Cutting straight to the chase here, this is one of those. Dull, boring, overlong, uninteresting, dour, depressing and dull (a second time). I really tried to find some redeeming factor in the outing, but can only find my personal desire to watch the film's star - whatever she's in!

Yes, the far-too-cute Emily Browning (Kill the King, Legend, Sucker Punch) will win me over every time - but even she, in this as Naomi, adds to the general glumness of what is going on and apparent pointlessness of the effort. She plays a girl from Australia visiting New York to refresh after a string of failed infatuations painted up as relationships. She gets a job working with an archivist in a small and claustrophobic office with a chap who, like all the other characters, reflect the futility of existence.

Mostly musician Adam Horovitz plays this guy but really should have stuck with music. He is married to a woman who doesn't trust him to keep his hands off Naomi as their relationship is clearly imploding. She has a sister who is bitter and twisted, willing to stick the knife in where she can, to anyone. There's a young couple in the mix who run a music studio, she not trusting him to keep his hands off Naomi either because of previous form.

Everyone is bitter and twisted, pretty glum and nasty to each other that you wonder why any of them stay together. Glimmers of hope evolve as some of the characters start to recognise that their desires and potential behaviours are damaging to not only themselves but also their situation and those around them or who depend on them.

The film seems to want to very much be a Woody Allen style New York slice-of-life but it misses on pretty much every point. There's no comedy, no one-liners, nothing to engage the audience with the characters, no sharp wit, no snappy dialogue - just the dour side of a bunch of people who are dysfunctional with an object of desire thrown into the mix. Lust for the men and jealousy of her youth and beauty for the women. Mostly. All of whom end up really wishing that she'd never turned up in the first place, even though they all know they're part of a downward spiral of misery, regret and self-harm.

It's not that it's short of acting talent with Mary-Louise Parker, Lily Rabe, Jason Schwartzman and ChloĆ« Sevigny making up the cast - and there are glimpses of what could have been, given a decent story and good script. What is on offer here couldn't really light up any room, whatever the wattage of the bulb or how small the room! There's lots of hand-held camerawork going on and it often feels like a very amateur slice of filmmaking.

It really is a depressing viewing, so I wouldn't recommend it unless, like me, you just have to watch the star! There's only so much reality orientation one can take and this is a step too far. Avoid.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Killing of Two Lovers (2020)

What a visual delight this film is. Forget the storyline, look at the imagery - beautifully created and executed by director/writer/producer...