Radha Blank’s black and white The Forty-Year-Old Version is an authentic portrayal of an artist’s struggle. Blank plays herself in this highly autobiographical story about a playwright, a teacher, and poet/rapper.
I adore the logo and titles that look like a 1990’s hip-hop album
Though she is the writer, director and actor—it is not a total one woman show. There is plenty of room for fine performances from Peter Kim as Archie. Archie is Blank’s best friend. Oswin Benjamin excels as well as D. Benjamin plays D as a soft-spoken, confident introvert—playing well off Blank. Blank’s own actual brother plays her brother here- and she draws upon her life. Blanks story is one of failure, pain, selling-out and success. She is a fantastic character- and these are real people in real relationships.
The black and white, darkly-lit look at the New York feels like a relative of Baumbach’s Frances Ha.
Blank may falter a little with the free-form cuts to interviews of her neighbors, inspirations and flashbacks. The film is better when it stays within Blank’s story.
Great freeze frames before the rap battle in the ring
Has much in common with the stand-up films like Sleepwalk With Me and Obvious Child– slightly superior to both and both of those are solid films- ditto for The King of Staten Island.
The best scene in the film is an intimate discussion after sex between Benjamin’s character and Blank. Blank shoots the conversation off the bedroom mirror.
Leave A Comment