“People never make films about ordinary people who don’t really do anything,” Naomi (Emily Browning) clumsily laments to her new employer in the opening minutes of Alex Ross Perry’s Golden Exits. As an Australian university student who’s come all the way to New York for a job, Naomi can probably be forgiven for not knowing that “ordinary people not really doing anything” describes a whole lot of films made in the city that never sleeps, including the one in which she’s unwittingly starring. But does Golden Exits really qualify as a vision of reality? Unfolding against an unglamorous backdrop of Brooklyn brownstones, nondescript diners, and cluttered basement offices, the film is superficially concerned with everyday disappointment and discontent, the dispiriting stuff of “normal” life. But Perry, the gifted indie darling whose last trip to NYC was the scathingly funny Listen Up Philip, has this time burrowed so deep into pastiche—into his obsession with recreating the feel of a certain kind of movie—that he’s made something ponderously artificial: a deadly fusion of the mundane and the affected, like some black-box-theater parody of an Ingmar Bergman art drama. Advertisement Naomi works for Nick, the milquetoast picture of male midlife crisis. In Perry’s… Read full this story
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