Review by George Kozera for Mr. Will Wong
Who amongst us, at one point in our lives, have fallen inexplicitly infatuated with someone we had just met? OF AN AGE takes this premise and succinctly takes the audience on a journey of discovery.
Set in 1999 in an Australian coastal town, Writer/Director Goran Stolevski’s film opens with waves from a beach crashing into Ebony (Hattie Hook) who looks like she’s recovering from a major bender. After getting change from a stranger, she uses a pay phone (ah, how did we ever survive those days without cellphones?) to call her friend, 17 year old Kolya (Elias Anton), to find and retrieve her in enough time for them to audition for a ballroom competition. Wearing an outfit so flamboyant it would make the male performers on “Dancing With the Stars” look like lumberjacks, Kolya finds Ebony’s older brother Adam (Thom Green) and together they jump into Adam’s car to find Ebony. In the confined and claustrophobic car interior, the two men slowly find a conversational rhythm as they discuss classic literature and movies. This extended sequence, helmed in shaky close-ups, is a tantalizing ballet of discovery and a not-too-subtle seduction. When Adam ultimately corrects Kolya’s assumption that his ex was a man instead of a woman, the look on Kolya’s face is cinematic gold as the audience is unsure whether he is intrigued, frightened, disappointed, thrilled.
The Second Act, set in 2010, have the lead characters reunite at Ebony’s wedding, where the intensity between them remains palpable.
Thematically similar to 2011’s “Weekend” where two men meet and spent a few days getting to know each other, OF AN AGE takes the concept of mutual attraction and becomes an authentic, honest and unapologetic love story. Elias Anton nuanced performance is remarkable as his character grapples with questioning his sexuality while living with his family in a Serbian household that reeks with macho intensity. Thom Green’s good looks and seductive smile is intoxicating but there is more depth to his character than just swagger and the actor registers many emotions with assurance. Director Goran Stolevski impressively deals with an obvious miniscule budget with creativity and aplomb.
Released in the midst of big budget extravaganzas currently on the big screen, OF AN AGE deserves to be seen and savoured. Focus Features/Universal Pictures Canada release OF AN AGE February 17, 2023.
For advertising opportunites please contact firstname.lastname@example.org