Arguably the year's most memorable teen.
Director: Sam de Jong (Prince)
Screenplay: de Jong
Cast: Slick Woods, George Sample III (The Escape of Prisoner 614)
Runtime: 1h 28m
By: John DeSando
“I’m ’bout to BLOW UP! Goldie ready for TAKE OFF!” (Slick Woods)
Goldie is a multicolored drama centered on a titular 18-year old with enough ghetto attitude to fill two more dramas and talent to justify her goal of becoming a music video dancer. More importantly, she shepherds her two sisters, all three of them left by their recently incarcerated mom, in and out of seedy venues and homes to try to find a place, even if for a night.
Not easy to warm to, the tatted up, gap-toothed dynamo is nonetheless warmer inside than out. Her attention to her sisters despite the myriad disappointments her poverty and poor choices provide is what saves her from being another lost teen hoping to make it so she can save her family.
Another admirable quality about this slice of urban chaos is the colorful scene changers which complement her gold attire and hair and relieve the depression of her endless disappointments. The only light moment comes at the beginning when she announces her intention to “blow up” and “take off” while dancing at a family shelter show. Take off is tough to do.
Writer-director Sam de Jong has expertly navigated between the hope of a talented teen and the reality of homeless kids finding a home. In that way he has created a hybrid melodrama that more fully depicts the struggles of lost teens, their hopes and their dreams. The answer may lie in Goldie eventually listening to the adults who advise her to consult Children’s Services.
Not a Hollywood ending but closer to reality than many of the fantasies from romanticized films about struggling families. The film Goldie is closer to a documentary than a fiction despite its promising opening show.
John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts WCBE’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics. Contact him at JohnDeSando62@gmail.com