In Sophie Kluge’s tragicomedy GOLDEN TWENTIES The main character Ava is stuck in her twenties. But after 90 slipping minutes, one can doubt whether these are really golden. But not that we are dealing with a really good film here. We reveal more about this in our review.
In her mid-twenties, Ava still doesn’t know what she actually wants from life. Can you blame her?
The plot summary
In her mid-twenties, Ava (Henriette Confurius) moves back in with her mother Mavie (Inga Busch). She now has a new friend and seems to develop new whimsy with each year of life. The woman has been barricading herself in her own four walls for a while because the burglary rate in her catchment area has increased. But Ava can’t deal with that for now. A new job is much more important to the young woman. After some initial difficulties, she found it at a theater where she was allowed to sit in on the preparations for a new play. Her colleagues don’t take her seriously, but she finds an admirer in the attractive actor Jonas (Max Krause), with whom she can at least briefly float on cloud nine. But Ava still can’t really find her way into life. Maybe you don’t really grow up until you’re thirty…
Golden Twenties Movie Meaning & ending
No, “Golden Twenties” is not about the decade of the twenties, and certainly not about the golden ones. Instead, our protagonist Ava is in the middle of this age phase. However, it is a fallacy to assume that this automatically makes things more golden. The author of these lines knows this only too well, because she is exactly the same age as the main character, who is desperately looking for emotional support. She is all the more pleased to see that the screenwriter and director Sophie Kluge, who is responsible, among other things, for the excellent script for “SMS für Dich” , obviously knows exactly what makes the people of the generation she portrays tick. Because the Munich-born filmmaker meets them, as well as the audience, at eye level, laughing and crying with the characters instead of at them and because of them. “Golden Twenties” is a really enjoyable look into the life of a person whose career represents how many people of the same age feel lost these days, even though all doors are actually open to them. And you don’t even have to live in hip Berlin.
Ava (Henriette Confurius) and actor Jonas (Max Krause).
The special thing about “Golden Twenties” could also prove to be an obstacle for many viewers, making it difficult for them to connect with the main character: Sophie Kluge throws the audience straight into Ava’s living conditions and also forgoes hers later on edgy character with background information. She seems a bit naïve, wallows in self-pity here and there and seems to blame everyone else for her misery before she thinks about questioning herself and her own decisions. But over the course of the crisp ninety minutes, Sophie Kluge reveals details that make you doubt all your own prejudices. It’s like the clumsy assumption that those who have been single for years are simply not wanted by anyone, with character traits such as introversion or banalities such as bad experiences often being ignored. It’s much easier to simply draw conclusions about others or to judge people based on their surface. But even if it takes a little longer to warm up to the main character due to the narrative structure, which is like jumping into cold water, the situations still speak for themselves. And so “Golden Twenties” is primarily reminiscent of the films of Richard Linklater due to its slice-of-life character; or anyone who saw Helena Hufnagel’s great “Once Please Everything” two years ago will also get their money’s worth here. Because “Golden Twenties” is, without digging too deeply, a complex character portrait in which what Ava does speaks for itself – and her environment speaks for the world in which she and we currently live.
Henriette Confurius (“Fog in August”) embodies the lost and helpless Ava, who fights for independence, satisfaction and recognition with a lot of willingness to sacrifice and yet is appropriately reserved. You never know: whether you just want to give the young woman a hug or kick her in the ass. The various events that the story confronts them with are simply too different for that. Sometimes she feels lost in the middle of a couple’s evening with her friend Lulu (Hanna Hilsdorf); not just as a single person, but simply as a human being. Another day she travels to Prague after her affair with Jonas without being asked – and is then surprised that he is not at all happy about it. It’s a constant up and down as Sophie Kluge captures the everyday life of her main character. Always enriched with small, creative observations from the nosy neighbor to the cluttered room where Ava’s child’s bed used to be and now an unused exercise bike. “Golden Twenties” takes you through this torn world of people in their twenties. It’s not always narratively rigorous, sometimes a little contrived, but it feels truthful at all times. Also because cameraman Reinhold Vorschneider (“Bright Nights”) creates dreamy, autumnal images that would make the film ideal at any indie festival.
Conclusion: In “Golden Twenties” the twenties are not golden, but director Sophie Kluge conjures up a golden smile on our faces for 90 minutes – and a bittersweet lump in our throats.
“Golden Twenties” can be seen in selected USA cinemas from August 28th.