Magazine article Screen International

'Golden Exits': Sundance Review

Magazine article Screen International

'Golden Exits': Sundance Review

Article excerpt

Dir./scr.: Alex Ross Perry. US, 2016. 94 min.

If Listen Up Philip, Alex Ross Perry's smart, darkly funny 2014 Sundance entry, was indebted to Philip Roth, Golden Exits, his latest more somber outing, was inspired by the films of Eric Rohmer. An intimate study of an interconnected group of New Yorkers, and the outsider who briefly upends their already troubled lives, Golden Exits is an idiosyncratic film about little moments of human pain and loneliness. There's jealousy, sadness, unfulfilled loves and lives, all of it relayed in quiet conversations and glances, rather than big dramatic scenes.

For this reason, Golden Exits can be tough-going-and will be a tough sell in the marketplace. Festival programmers and fans of the burgeoning auteur will be sure to seek out Perry's latest cinematic experiment, but Golden Exits is not likely to build much upon the modest success of Listen Up Philip. Still, the new film shows a maturity, stillness and confidence of direction that offers further proof of Perry's abilities and seriousness as a filmmaker.

Set in Brooklyn, Golden Exits revolves around Nick (Adam Horovitz), a 40-something mild-mannered family archivist, his solemn wife Alyssa (Chloe Sevigny) and Alyssa's cynical sister Gwen (Mary Louise Parker). When we first meet this unhappy trio, they are discussing Nick's latest job-to archive the materials of the sisters' recently deceased father. But Nick and Gwen are openly hostile towards each other; Nick going so far as to complain about the "torment and turmoil" within their family. But everyone goes silent with the entrance of Nick's new assistant, Naomi (Emily Browning), a beautiful young woman visiting from Australia.

While Nick works with Naomi in the confines of his small Brooklyn basement office, Alyssa fears that her husband may be unfaithful. Meanwhile, Naomi seeks out a family friend whom she last saw when as a teenager, Buddy (Jason Schwartzman), for companionship. …

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