I adore stories that delve into love and emotion. I am a romantic at heart. From the first moment I saw the trailer, I knew I wanted to see this film. I wasn’t familiar with the actors, but there was something about the emotionality playing out, even in a brief clip, that made this film one I wanted to watch. After seeing the film, I found the acting phenomenal, the cinematography emotional, and the story sums up the highs and lows of love and connection.

Of An Age is an Australian romantic drama film written and directed by Goran Stolevski. Set in the summer of 1999, the film focuses on seventeen-year-old Serbian-born Kol (Elias Anton), an amateur ballroom dancer, who wakes up to his dancer partner Ebony (Hattie Hook) needing his help to pick her up for their performance. Since he doesn’t have a car, she gets her older brother Adam (Thom Green), to help them. Once the two meet, they experience an unexpected and intense 24-hour relationship. The film delves into the connection and results of that one-time experience.

4205_D004_00077_R (l-r.) Hattie Hook stars as Ebony, Thom Green as Adam and Elias Anton as Kol in director Goran Stolevski’s OF AN AGE, a Focus Features release. Credit: Ben King / © Of An Age Films Pty Ltd

I think one of the aspects that impacted me most in this film is the intensity of emotion between the two men. The film captures that with extreme close-ups highlighting the slightest change in expression. The choice to use those close-ups enhances the emotionality of the movie and heightens the drama. This is one of the reasons the cinematography is so exceptional in this film; it works to heighten the emotions and show the profound connection between the two men. Every moment between them feels important and weighted with how they feel toward each other. Besides the visual element, music is interspersed between the dialogue and enhances the emotions in the scene.

Elias Anton as Kol in director Goran Stolevski’s OF AN AGE, a Focus Features release. Credit: Ben King / © Of An Age Films Pty Ltd

Part of what makes the story resonate is how simple it is set up and how natural the dynamic is between the two actors. The dialogue helps convey much of that natural chemistry. The words they both speak are authentic and, at times, sharply funny while at other times being profoundly deep. The story forges the connection between the two with each glance and expression each time they speak to each other. It is graceful and beautiful to watch as the two fall for each other, hesitating to let go. It is a beautiful coming-out story for the character of Kol as he realizes how he feels about Adam.

Much of the burden of conveying the complex emotions and that intensity falls on the two actors. Elias Anton and Thom Green have what seems like effortless chemistry. It is believable that they fall into each other’s arms. Elias Anton is awkward yet charming, conveying a young man struggling with new emotions and desires. Thom Green’s performance is rich and complex. Both excel at conveying the sexual tension between the characters. The performances are moving. Equally strong is the acting of Hattie Hook, who plays Ebony. She gives a brilliant performance, and the dynamics between all three characters make the film beautiful.

4205_D007_00578 Elias Anton stars as Kol and Thom Green as Adam in director Goran Stolevski’s OF AN AGE, a Focus Features release. Credit: Thuy Vy / © Of An Age Films Pty Ltd

While the film sums up the vagaries of life and love of coming out extremely well, my only lingering wish was for more of a complete ending. The ending is fitting, but it is open-ended and feels abrupt. It leaves me wanting more. Yet, that same ending is evocative, emotional, and haunting. It is one of the most beautiful endings I have seen. So if you don’t mind a less resolved ending, you will love this film.

If you like coming-of-age stories, romantic stories, or movies where the character discovers himself, this coming-out romantic drama would be a wonderful film to watch. It is slow yet intense, with excellent dialogue that enhances the emotional element and creates a believable relationship between the two men. The acting of Elias Anton and Thom Green is beautiful and complex, with the camera highlighting every expression and emotion. It tells a story of love and connection and evokes ageless emotions.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 songs

Official Website: Of An Age | Official Website | February 17 2023
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Of an Age

Genre: Drama/Romance

Summer 1999. In blue-collar North Melbourne, 17-year-old Serbian immigrant Kol is out of school forever. He’s preparing for the Australian Dance finals when he receives a distress call from his dance partner, Ebony, who has woken up on an unfamiliar beach after a big night out. With the help of Ebony’s older brother, Adam, they attempt to make it to the finals on time but when Kol and Adam get stuck in summer traffic, they begin to realize they have more in common than they first thought. Over the course of the next 24 hours, an unexpected and intense romance blossoms. A decade later the pair meet for a bittersweet reunion.
OF AN AGE opens in Phoenix theaters on February 17, 2023, and expands to other markets in the coming weeks.

ONE-LINER: Set in the summer of 1999 as an 17-year-old Serbian born, Australian amateur ballroom dancer experiences an unexpected and intense 24-hour romance with a friend’s older brother.

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