The Forty-Year-Old Version

The Forty-Year-Old Version

Radha Blank (2020)

123min
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Review

Our Score
An African-American woman approaching middle age swerves out of the lane society has assigned her in the knockout debut of writer/director Radha Blank. Beautifully shot in monochrome and loosely based on Blank's life, it follows Radha (Blank), a struggling playwright who is pressured by her best pal and agent (Peter Y Kim) to work with a white producer (Reed Birney) who prefers his Black stories with a heavy dose of "poverty porn". As he tries to shape her latest work accordingly, an exasperated Radha rediscovers her talent for rapping, channelling her frustrations into some sublime rhymes, speaking her truth with lyrical aplomb and backed by the beats of collaborator D (Oswin Benjamin). Dodging cliché at every turn, Blank's elegant, edgy film expertly challenges sexist and ageist assumptions while shining a light on patronising notions of cultural authenticity. The result is funny and formidably wise, and shows you really can be fresh at 40.

Cast & Crew

Radha Radha Blank
Archie Peter Kim
D Oswin Benjamin
Josh Whitman Reed Birney
Director Radha Blank

Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and white