The Forty-Year-Old Version (2020)
February 25, 2021 5:16 PM - Subscribe

Radha is a down-on-her-luck NY playwright, who is desperate for a breakthrough before 40. Reinventing herself as rapper RadhaMUSPrime, she vacillates between the worlds of Hip Hop and theater in order to find her true voice. (won the U.S. Dramatic Competition Directing Award at Sundance)

Trailer, on Netflix now

But Blank seems less interested in clear resolutions than in examining how these two distinct worlds, theater and hip-hop, have shaped her complex identity as an artist. She doesn't feel entirely at home in either space. And yet her work, at its best, becomes a bold synthesis of both. -NPR

The film, Blank’s first, isn’t pure autobiography. She has yet to choke a producer. But the apartment in the movie is her apartment. Her actual brother plays her brother. The pain of continuing to believe in yourself as an artist when the art world thinks otherwise and candles on the birthday cakes won’t stop coming? That’s all her. - NYT (non-paywalled)

“I just wanna be an artist!” she cries, touching on the legitimate anxieties of the black woman at its center, and poking fun at them at the same time. Much about Blank’s smart and funny crowdpleasing directorial debut negotiates that tricky balance, with a scrappy riff on real-world frustrations about the impact of race and age on the storytelling process. -Indiewire
posted by Gorgik (3 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
We caught this when it came out last fall, and it's a delight. Radha is super talented, it's smart, funny, just a great little movie.
posted by Superilla at 9:52 PM on February 26, 2021

Really enjoyed. Put me in mind of some of my 80s and 90s scruffy indy faves like Do the Right Thing, Watermelon Woman and Go Fish. The movie could have been heavy handed and didactic, but Blank was just so charming, down to earth, relatable, it just works. I laughed a lot especially at the scenes with the teens. Appreciated how the main character both openly resents the necessity of her ending up in education and also does right by them: treating them with respect and kindness. Almost had to leave the room during her stoned public performance debut.
posted by latkes at 6:32 PM on February 28, 2021

Radha Blank was just nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the BAFTAs this year, which was excellent news; she tweeted her recording of the nomination show and her live response.
posted by Superilla at 1:05 PM on March 9, 2021

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