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Of an Age (2022) Goran Stolevski, Australia

Melbourne, 1999. A young Serbian-Australian ballroom dancer on the verge of adulthood discovers a surprising connection with the calm older brother of his chaotic best friend.

A tightly focussed dramatic portrait that successfully reveals the protagonist's emotional state-of-being. Capturing that vivid moment at the end of high school where he has not had a chance to yet discover who he is, how he will live or even what life is really like for a queer boy who will inevitably have to find his own way in a world that offers no role-models. He is so used to being lonely that he is genuinely shocked to discover someone who is not only openly gay, but who he actually likes and can effortlessly connect with in a meaningful and genuine way. Though the connection is brief, the need behind it is deep and long-lasting. Ten years later, the tragedy is that his life has changed drastically but the need is the same and remains equally unfulfilled.

The film focuses on only three characters at two distinct moments to make the most of its limitations. One day in 1999 the two men meet in transitional moments for them both and find a feeling of stability together. One day in 2010 they meet again and the resonance of that brief meeting ten years earlier is felt very strongly. Though the best friend/sister who connects them is vividly drawn and enthusiastically performed, the social milieu of the characters swirls around them and the film wastes no time in cutting to its primary focus. The depth and subtlety of how this brief and genuine encounter plays out, and what it means for the protagonist, are conveyed in a naturalistic way that continues to resonate after the film is over.

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