“Goldie” isn’t easy to like. Not based on first impressions.
She’s brash, delusionally confident as she Instagram’s her latest update.
“I’m ’bout to BLOW UP! Goldie ready for TAKE OFF!”
As embodied by model/actress Slick Woods (“Love Advent”), Goldie is a teen tyro, all saffron buzzcut, tats and teeth — buck and gapped — big earrings, showing skin and blasting attitude.
A little talent show for the NYC shelter where she and her family live turns into a cheer-leading self-love/self-advertisement for “a music video, soon!”
“Chutzpah” isn’t just for the Jewish, because Goldie has a shtetl’s worth.
And when we see her dance in Sam de Jong’s character portrait, we shrug. Just turned 18, and there is nothing here that screams “STAR” or comes anywhere near the dream of “bout to BLOW UP.”
But as we follow her and see her story, we get an adult-sized dose of the desperation that makes her this way. Her mom (Marsha Stephanie Blake) did something to cost them their home. The lowlife (Danny Hoch) Mom is living with, in a SHELTER mind you, has no job save for selling drugs.
Goldie has two little sisters, Sherrie and Supreme (Alanna Renee Tyler-Tompkins and Jazmyn C Dorsey), that she dotes on and pulls into her dreams.
And she’s got a hook-up. Jay (Khris Davis) is going to get her into a music video for his friend, a rapper of some repute. All Goldie needs is that shot, and a bright yellow fur coat and ultra-revealing hot pants onesie she sees in store windows around the neighborhood.
When Mom gets arrested, the desperation spikes and Goldie drags us into the delusion — shoplifting, lying, bragging and hustling as she drags her siblings from friend to relative to friend “so Child Services doesn’t get them.”
Fired from the retail job she’s always late for?
“I’m not goin’ NOWHERE!”
Shunned by the shopkeeper who (wisely, it turns out) won’t let her try the coat of her dreams? Don’t MAKE her come back and bust a window to get it!
Woods rarely softens Goldie up for the viewer. But every now and then we see the bravado drop and her “hear” what the adults she consults and storms away from are telling her — “Child Services could help…What’s your PLAN?”
It’s all pinned to that video, “so me and my sisters can get out.”
The confrontations she storms out of, the risks she takes and the extremes she goes to make for an intimate tragedy. And Woods makes our heroine someone we warm to — if not right away — and more importantly, someone we won’t forget.
MPAA Rating: unrated, drug content, sex, theft, profanity
Cast: Slick Woods, George Sample III, Danny Hoch, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Alanna Renee Tyler-Tompkins and Jazmyn C Dorsey
Credits: Written and directed by Sam de Jong. A Film Movement release.
Running time: 1:28