Golden Exits Screen 20 articles

Golden Exits


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  • It's a movie full of people talking around, and occasionally even about, their little problems. They talk and talk and talk, but on the screen their foibles come to seem momentous. For about a decade, Perry has been collaborating with the cinematographer Sean Price Williams. Their visual style in Golden Exits has you constantly sensing that the film is on the verge of grand tragedy, even though its action proceeds mumble by mumble through micromelodrama.

  • Perry’s pugnacious dialogue has a lyrical quality, the careful elocution of unnatural yet fluid lines that can only come from the mind of a writer, but it’s the quiet moments that are most pregnant with negativity. The saddest lines are the ones never said. The desires are unspoken, and they will remain unfulfilled.

  • This is the kind of movie that compels viewers to disclose what sorts of problems they consider important. I'm at a point in my life where, for entirely subjective, personal reasons, I couldn't really relate to any of the characters—except maybe Gwen, who has zero patience for everyone's b.s. even as she dishes out heaping plates of her own. . . . But your mileage may vary, as they say. Naomi tells you up front what kind of movie you're about to see, and she's not wrong.

  • By description, Golden Exits sounds like the set-up for a combustible drama, rife with heartbreak and betrayal and consuming passions. But Perry is almost perverse in his unwillingness to follow through on any of these options, because he's more interested in characters who are tiptoeing right to the edge of the line. . . . [Yet t]here's a limit to how much it can be appreciated for the notes it doesn't play before you start to pine for the friction that gives Perry's other work such vitality.

  • A virtuoso of unease, the 33-year-old Mr. Perry makes films that seem almost calculated to go against the grain of contemporary American independent cinema. . . . His movies are talky, intimate to the point of claustrophobia, and populated by characters that can be charitably described as prickly. . . . But Mr. Perry is such a good filmmaker that he can make the embarrassing and the unbearable insistently, fascinatingly engrossing (and often funny).

  • Barely anything happens in Golden Exits, so Perry has clearly not set out to fashion a critique or upending of this familiar scenario: older man, younger woman, professional-personal overlap. . . . Disinterested in cultivating suspense or even manufacturing incident, Perry instead generates spontaneity and intrigue through fresher means, constructing his scenes and characters with a wonderful idiosyncrasy

  • It sustains a lingering aura of futility that's counterweighted by the film's beauty and by the exhilaration of seeing Perry realize his vast ambitions, as he's made a modern film about relationships and social constrictions that clears the bar set by the work of John Cassavetes and Woody Allen.

  • Compared to the claustrophobic atmosphere of Queen of Earth, the director’s latest, Golden Exits... is perhaps his most open and free-flowing film, even as it matches its predecessors in its emotionally devastating portrait of quiet alienation and inchoate yearning.

  • Geographically not far yet nevertheless a world away from the boardwalk of Eliza Hittman’s Beach Rats, Alex Ross Perry’s Golden Exits trades equally in self-duplicity, but the anguish is less visceral and more cerebral (and also more risible). The film’s measure of inertia among its characters is putatively more eloquent, loquacious even, which appears to be part of Perry’s paradoxical point.

  • A filmmaker known for his spitfire dialogue and intellectual tête-à-têtes, Alex Ross Perry subverts his own formula with Golden Exits, switching his focus to a more subtle mode of melodrama. Perry’s fruitful return to a romanticised celluloid Brooklyn finds tension in the undisclosed turmoils of a group of suburbanites, caught in tangled webs of familial obligation.

  • Perry had his usual DP, Sean Price Williams, shoot Golden Exits on celluloid (super-16) – and, as we have been led to expect from him, this is a finely observed, witty, acerbic ensemble piece, still sympathetic for its flawed characters, and without any kind of classic “narrative resolution”. The dialogue is a joy to listen to.

  • Like James Gray, Perry’s mise en scène has a certain classical stateliness to it, accentuated here by cinematographer Sean Price William’s studious avoidance of handheld camerawork, but this prevailing aesthetic is pierced by an unsettling score from Keegan DeWitt, and Perry’s close-ups on his actresses’ faces brim with an acute intensity that threatens to explode at any given moment.

  • It’s a movie of things unspoken and desires suppressed, but happily free of self-effacing style, dignifying these non-happenings with a treatment worthy of high melodrama. Perry’s dialogue is declamatory and ice-water crisp; there’s a key scene late in the film that makes use of a splash of light reflected through stained glass on the wall above a stairwell that, in palette and staging, feels almost Sirkian; and Keegan DeWitt’s score is burrowing and richly insinuating.

  • It’s a clear-eyed, penetrating drama, serious and true. Its insights about marriage—about the diplomacy needed to negotiate the terms of a shared life, about the unspoken internecine battles couple wage unwillingly day-to-day, about the indispensable armistice that is simply choosing not to ask—have scarcely been articulated with such clarity or force, and without a trace of the righteous moralizing with which relationship dramas are so frequently barnacled.

  • Perry gives us a film of simmering power dynamics and bracingly complex roles: nobody is completely innocent, nor can we write anyone off from our sympathies entirely. The grass-is-greener syndrome of roving desire is a constant dissatisfaction to this class of creative professionals suffering from that vague modern-day disease: they all want more from life, but can’t choose what.

  • A moody, melancholic, intellectual drama based in New York. While Queen of Earth excelled in showing the mean streak of its characters in dark and mystic colours, Golden Exits hits a more subtle and light tone when it comes to human relationships.

  • It’s a rigorous, brutal film. It’s also about something that I’ve never seen a film ponder before (and never really pondered myself before I saw the film): the ways in which human interaction is largely an effort to canonize ourselves in the mind of others... It’s one of those films that makes you see, hear, and experience the world differently for hours after leaving the theater.

  • Perry responds vitally to his own emotional impulses in the presence of the actors; the dialogue that they send spinning aloft is pugnaciously lyrical, gracefully deceptive, awkwardly tender. With images of a bold simplicity, Perry parses the overlapping lines of interpersonal conflict as if in cinematic X-rays, and pushes uneasily close to the performers to fuse their flickers and tremors with those of their characters.

  • One of the festival’s most perceptive films about the ambivalence of human behavior... While Perry's two previous films can be gluttonous expulsions of id, Golden Exits does away with almost all overt conflict, internalizing fantasy in texture, image and performance.

  • This sense of a movie emerging from a mind that can only be itself (rather than one which can accommodate and assimilate genuinely other voices) is a weakness that’s a strength: it’s certainly personal, conveys a strong POV and gives this formally modest film a fever dream aura that would otherwise be absent. At a certain level, you either find this funny or you don’t: it’s floridly verbal, self-absorbed, and prototypically NYC-ish in a way that could be immensely offputting.

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