Berlinale: Golden Exits

Golden Exits

Directed by Alex Ross Perry
Starring Emily Browning, Adam Horovitz, Jason Schwartzman, Chloë Sevigny, Mary-Louise Parker, Lily Rabe and Analeigh Tipton

by Laura Patricia Jones

Alex Ross Perry’s Golden Exits feels beautifully intimate and well observed, emerging us into Brooklyn summertime. But as a film about normal people in normal scenarios who don’t really do a fat lot, it can feel a bit of a slog to get through.

The film surrounds middle-aged family archivist Nick (Adam Horovitz), his grumpy wife Alyssa (Chloe Sevigny) and her pessimistic sister Gwen (Mary Louise Parker) who together form quite the miserable trio. Nick’s latest job is archiving the work of the sister’s deceased father for which he takes on the beautiful young Australian Naomi (Emily Browning) to be his assistant.  Naturally this causes Alyssa to feel her husband could be unfaithful. In the meantime, Naomi reaches out to family friend Buddy (Jason Schwartzman) for company as she has no friends in the city.

We then meet Buddy’s wife Jess (Analeigh Tipton) and her sister Sam (Lily Rabe), who is also Gwen’s personal assistant. And they all seem a dissatisfied bunch too. With her arrival and young fresh outlook, Naomi’s inadvertently flirtatious presence threatens all of their lives’ simplicity.

There are no dramatic arguments or displays of extreme melodrama, it is through intimate camera angles that the tension and awkwardness builds to make the uncomfortableness of the situation believable. It’s almost a portal of the inherited desire to want what we don’t have, flirt with the idea of something else, and then make do with what we have. This idea is quite interesting in itself, but with it taking a while to get off the ground and lacking any real conclusion, I certainly couldn’t sit through Golden Exits twice!





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