Review: Fashionista Slick Woods dominates Sam de Jong’s explosive hip-hop drama ‘Goldie’
High-spirited and eye-catching, the aesthetic dynamism in Dutch filmmaker Sam de Jong’s sophomore feature “Goldie” mirrors its resolute title character. Colorful animated flourishes burst forth as an 18-year-old Bronx girl rides out socioeconomic setbacks to inch closer to her dream of becoming a famous dancer.
De Jong tones down the grittiness of his debut, “Prince,” also a coming-of-age piece set in a low-income neighborhood, but impeccably translates his unorthodox filmic grammar for American cinematographer Shawn Peters to shoota New York story.
Clad in fierce charisma and a buzz cut, Goldie (Slick Woods) imagines herself transformed into a boisterous luminary. All she needs is a bright yellow coat to complete her persona and rock the music video that she believes will launch her to stardom. With her mother in prison and two little sisters to keep from being separated by child protective services, an all-or-nothing attitude is in order.
Tremendously alluring, Woods, a fashion model making her feature acting debut, commands a slew of supporting players — each fancifully introduced — by harnessing all the elements that make up Goldie: her tarnished innocence, a survivalist mentality and undying hope. Woods detonates an explosion of raging emotions.
Treading topical waters with an incisive flair, de Jong offers no didactic salvation or pessimistic prospects. Goldie’s sole assurance is to trudge one rocky step at a time, and that’s all any of us can do.
Running time: 1 hour, 28 minutes
Playing: Starts Feb. 21, Lumiere Music Hall, Beverly Hills
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