Alex Ross Perry, an extraordinary writer/director, has always been interested in the conflict between self-interest and the opposite stabilizing instinct to empathize and care for other humans— especially those you’re closest to, like family and longtime friends.
Nick (Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys and such films as While We’re Young) is an archivist who has built a life of routine. His environment and daily patterns are essential to his character. He stops at the same bar in his Brooklyn neighborhood, as does putative music impresario Buddy (Jason Schwartzman), who has his own comfortable patterns with his wife, Jess (Analeigh Tipton). Nick is married to Alyssa (Chloë Sevigny) and she and her sister Gwendolyn (Mary-Louise Parker) have commissioned him to archive their father’s materials. Naomi (Emily Browning), an attractive young Australian, bounces into Nick’s life to help on this project, unintentionally challenging the equilibrium.
Shot beautifully by Sean Price Williams in and around handsome Brooklyn brownstones in a neighborhood that Perry and his crew obviously cherish, Golden Exits opens questions that will unsettle and probe. Keegan DeWitt’s score is astonishing in its imagination and fit, and Robert Greene has edited deftly. Though tightly scripted, Perry and his remarkable cast have delivered performances that are so specific and skilled, the core questions that emerge do so in pauses and interactions between the words while characters try to not say what they mean. This is a fascinating, highly accomplished film that Perry refers to as “mellow drama,” but with no easy answers. (Jed Dietz)