6th October 2017 9.00pm at empire
7th October 2017 9.00pm at Hackney Picturehouse
9th October 2017 12.00pm at Vue West End
Moments aren’t like tears in the rain, they drift from one to the next. In Golden Exits, American filmmaker Alex Ross Perry opens these moments slowly and dissolves them into one other. Archivist Nick (Adam Horovitz) is hired by his sister-in-law to organise her father’s papers, left after he died. Nick, who has a history of adultery, hires Naomi (Emily Browning), a young and attractive woman, to assist him – much to his wife’s frustration.
Golden Exits is essentially an anthology film, containing stories pregnant with doubt, desire and loneliness. The movie follows several characters, who constantly overlap each other, but with Naomi as the most common denominator. It starts off like a stylistic Woody Allen drama, pursuing ordinary but intelligent individuals in New York – lovingly shot on super-16mm, it looks like a rough indie picture from the 60s. Although this is a little gimmicky, it is persistently attractive to look at.
Unlike Woody Allen, the dialogue isn’t too strong – particularly in the second half, when the characters indulge in lengthy, irritating monologues. Viewers switch off at this point, if not earlier. There is also not a great deal that actually happens, but one can see Perry’s motivations. Instead of adultery, he captures the tempting desire – making the audience question whether they are one and the same. But the stories fall flat in their overplayed passivity, which is nearly forgivable because of the richness of the characters. Browning plays Naomi with a youthful indecisiveness and contradiction, but maintaining an intelligent head on her shoulders. Jason Schwartzman rocks up with his usual Jesus hairdo as Naomi’s love interest, Buddy, and provides a solid source for humour. The audience can rely on him to keep the energy up.
Golden Exits is pleasant to watch and, at 94 minutes, it never feels like an inconvenience. But Perry needs to decide which character he likes best and not resort to superfluous explorations within such a short time. Despite these faults, Perry does make the viewer ponder their desires, about whether they’re harmless or harmful to those closest to them. Is being attracted to another person, in its own way, being unfaithful?
Golden Exits does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews and interviews from our London Film Festival 2017 coverage here.
For further information about the festival visit the official BFI website here.
Watch the trailer for Golden Exits here: