Almost immediately disengaged by the 25 minutes of incomprehensible wailing that starts the film. Once the storytelling begins, the film is just okay. I definitely felt like I was watching a film. The movie makes the fatal mistake of referencing a far superior film ("Happy Together") early in the dialogue and I spent the remainder of the film wondering why I wasn't watching that film instead. Still, the performances were quite good but the script lacking. The leads were quite charming independently but didn't have much chemistry, so the central story lacked needed urgency and intensity. Not much was very memorable about the film and I think that says it all. I struggled to recall the names of the lead characters while watching despite the overuse of super-tight closeups, I imagine to convey meaning missing from the storytelling.
Of an Age
Drama / Romance
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In the summer of 1999, a 17-year-old Serbian-born Australian amateur ballroom dancer experiences an unexpected and intense 24-hour romance with a friend's older brother.
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Average film with strong performances. Pretentious filmmaking.
A bittersweet catharsis
Of an Age exists in the thin line between comedy and tragedy, a slice of life at two critical moments of Kol's story that while narratively is very particular to it's time and space, holds a universal application of exploration, acceptance, love and ultimately being at peace with the choices we make and those we had no say in, sometimes we carry a single moment forever and even the briefest chance to revisit it, while heartbreaking, holds a sweet catharsis.
Thom Green and. Elias Anton have a natural chemistry that is undeniable from the first furtive glances, through the gradual transition from casual shared interests to deeper questions of identity.
Goran Stolevski has constructed a beautiful film that can be claimed by so many as their story, even a world away. We can all find shared experiences in films set in places we've never been, as Kol does.
a quickly formed bond can last
Greetings again from the darkness. One of my (many) pet peeves involves movies where we are supposed to believe a couple finds eternal love after barely spending any time together. Now I fully understand some artistic license must be taken in love stories, as there are only a couple of hours to work with, but the challenge is making the audience believe it. For the films that do it right, it's a thing of beauty.
Macedonian-Australian writer-director Goran Stolevski handles this expertly in his first film since the excellent (and much different) YOU WON'T BE ALONE (2022). A frenetic opening pace has 17 year old Kol (Elias Anton) panicking when his best friend Ebony (Hattie Hook in her first feature) phones after a wild night of partying. The two are supposed to be in the finals of an amateur ballroom dancing contest. Kol gets a ride from Ebony's older brother Adam (Thom Green),and as the two search for Ebony, a natural bond begins as easy conversation covers numerous topics. When Adam matter-of-factly admits he's gay, Kol's nervous energy shifts into overdrive.
This bond only has a 24-hour window to blossom, as Adam is headed to South America for graduate studies. But what a 24-hour period it is. The two men continually cross paths, and so much is conveyed with very few spoken words. Glances, body language, and eye-contact are all that's needed. That opening period takes place in 1999, and we then jump ahead to 2010. My, how time and age changes things ... and yet, doesn't.
We often see the fallout from unrequited love, but what of 'partially' requited love? Few films have better captured longing and emotional pain. We feel the aching and see it on Adam and Kol. Many scenes take place in a car, adding to the closeness and feeling of magnetic pull. For me, director Stolevski utilizes a few too many close-ups, although the approach does add to the intensity of some moments. The film may not be heavy on plot, but the emotions are strong enough to keep us invested.
Opens in theaters on February 10 and expands on February 17, 2023.