In the midst of his Elisabeth Moss trilogy (consisting of Listen Up Philip, Queen of Earth, and Her Smell), indie auteur Alex Ross Perry marshaled his largest ensemble to date in Golden Exits. A contemporary comedy/drama centered on a cluster of self-centered Brooklynites, the film finds Perry pairing off his characters in different combinations, subtly revealing how they change depending on who they’re with and the lies they have to tell their significant others about these interactions.
Many of these untruths revolve around the outsider in their midst, a pretty young Australian (Emily Browning) hired to assist an archivist (Adam Horovitz) working on the personal effects of his dead father-in-law at the behest of his prickly sister-in-law (Mary-Louise Parker) — one of many bones of contention between him and his therapist wife (Chloë Sevigny). The Australian also has a tenuous connection with Jason Schwartzman’s recording studio owner, whose wife (Analeigh Tipton) also has a sister to confide in (Lily Rabe) and reason to worry about the stability of her marriage.
Interspersed with these sometimes contentious conversations, Perry includes montages of New York street scenes that show off cinematographer Sean Price Williams’s skill at capturing the beauty in the mundane. And Robert Greene’s elliptical editing perfectly illustrates the notion that we’re dropping in and out of these people’s humdrum lives; they do go on after each slow fade to black.