What makes this film so impactful is that it nearly, perfectly captures some moments of life that can change the course of its protagonist’s future. The writing and direction by Goran Stolevski, along with the excellent performance by the leads rbeautifully creates a scene where first love catalyzes what is the eventual destination of the film’s main character Kol. Of An Age tells the story of Kol, a closeted gay Serbian-Australian young man who fears his own identity, but comes to terms with it, and develops an acceptance of it, through a love affair with his best friend’s older brother. Stolevski does a fantastic job of setting the scene and following through with the longing and torment his protagonist endures, until Kol can’t simply help it, but embrace who he really is.

Elias Anton stars as Kol, said Serbian-Australian, who has often felt out of place within his family, and also represses his true feelings when it comes to his attraction to men. On one fateful day, Kol meets Adam (Thom Green), the older brother of his best friend and dance partner Ebony (Hattie Hook). Due to some very poor judgment that lead to some hard partying, Ebony finds herself abandoned far away from home. She desperately reaches out to both her friend Kol and her brother Adam, who is close to leaving for graduate school. Kol and Adam, in their attempt to find Ebony and bring her home, connect, unexpectedly, on a very romantic level. This first taste of love and passion would forever change Kol, and give him the strength and courage to be true to himself.

I feel that the seemingly low budget of this indie film certainly adds an element of realism. In addition the cinematography, writing, and acting serves the movie well by immersing the audience in, what feels like, very real and genuine scenarios. One’s first love is often far from perfect, and this movie never promises to deliver fantasy. And that is exactly what kept me so captivated and invested in what happens to these characters. I honestly felt like I was watching the lives of these people, like a fly on the wall. Stolevsky and his crew do an exceptional job of creating cinema verite.

Of course, this movie cannot succeed without the right performances by main actors. I was definitely impressed with both Elias Anton and Thom Green who both superbly capture two different men from very different backgrounds, in very different places in their lives. I also enjoyed the performance of Hattie Hook, who is great as the ne’er-do-well Ebony, who has a selfishness to her, but is still likable, despite her immaturity. The chemistry of this trio, particularly between Thom Green and Elias Anton, helps make this movie feel all the more real.

And so, I must applaud everyone involved in that they have made a simple, but compelling, movie with which most people can relate. FIrst love is often far from definite, and with the exception of those who are very fortunate, and have managed to make it last during their lifetime, people’s first romances often escape them for various reasons. This film captures that heartbreak in a way that is undeniably bittersweet and full of melancholy.

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