I’m not going to beat around the bush. The Forty-Year-Old Version is one of this fall season’s must-see films.
The Forty-Year-Old Version is the feature debut of writer/director/future star, Radha Blank. The film sees Blank play a heightened version of herself, a once-promising playwright who’s experiencing a mid-life crisis. So Blank does what any self-respecting 39-year-old would do: she starts a rap career.
I reviewed The Forty-Year-Old Version at Sundance, where it earned Blank a directing award. Even though January seems like a lifetime ago, this movie has stayed on my mind since – it’s still my second favourite film of the year.
Blank delivers a charming, funny, and delightfully complicated performance – the type of compelling lead role Hollywood rarely affords middle-aged black women. Did I mention this woman is a legit rapper? This woman is about to blow-up. Blank’s talents are on full display in the trailer below.
The Forty-Year-Old Version trailer:
This movie works on so many levels; it’s a sharp social commentary, a witty comedy, and the ‘90s inspired hip-hop soundtrack slaps. And of course, Radha Blank’s performance is worth the cost of your monthly Netflix subscription. Mark the film’s October 9th release date in your calendar. You won’t regret it.
The Forty-Year-Old Version synopsis:
Radha, a down-on-her-luck NY playwright, is desperate for a breakthrough before 40. But when she foils what seems like her last shot at success, she’s left with no choice but to reinvent herself as rapper RadhaMUSPrime. The Forty-Year-Old Version follows Radha as she vacillates between the worlds of Hip Hop and theater on a quest to find her true voice.
Winner of the Directing Prize at The 2020 Sundance Film Festival, The Forty-Year-Old Version is a hilariously candid and deeply personal debut from writer/director Radha Blank. A fresh addition to the New York City slice-of-life canon shot in lush black and white 35mm, Blank’s film is an ode to the unfulfilled, and those whose adversity gives them a one-of-a-kind story to tell.
The Forty-Year-Old Version arrives on Netflix on October 9, 2020.