“Of an Age” tells timeless tale of fleeting love

Sage Dunlap, Associate Life&Arts Editor

The phone rings, interrupting 17-year-old Kol (Elias Anton) while rehearsing for a 1999 Australian dance competition. On the other end of the line, Kol’s best friend and dance partner Ebony (Hattie Hook) wakes up stranded on a beach hours away after a night of partying. 

In a frenzy to retrieve Ebony in time for the competition, Kol hitches a ride with Ebony’s older brother, Adam (Thom Green), sparking a 24-hour romance between the two. From director Goran Stolevski, “Of An Age” tells the story of how one romantic encounter forever changed the lives of Kol and Adam, yielding a coming-of-age story with themes of unrequited love and self-discovery.

In his sophomore feature-length film, Stolevski captures the heightened feelings of both characters with intimate close-up shots. The almost constrictive framing brings focus to every facial expression and glance, making already special and intimate scenes between the characters even more impactful within the tightly-confined screen. The film’s coloring and lighting – rich with sun flare and haze – feel equally as romantic, with warm hues evoking the same serenity as the Melbourne sunrise under which they first kiss. 

After sunrise, Kol and Adam say goodbye and the film jumps to 2009, when they reconnect for Ebony’s wedding. Reintroduced to a now-married Adam, Kol heartbrokenly confesses he never moved on from the whirlwind connection the two once shared. The film ages the characters successfully, and after a decade apart, they seem to be at similar places in their lives. Due to more modern styling and a refreshing sense of self-assurance from both characters, the 10-year gap feels well-executed.

Brimming with nostalgic yearning, the film illustrates how Kol feels permanently stuck in time after his first love. Both characters, now ten years older, fall back on the same traits that sparked their attraction in the first place — the witty, empathetic Adam still guides the more naive, unsure Kol as he divulges his unrequited feelings. While the jump feels slightly rushed due to a decade-long gap in character development, the chemistry between Kol and Adam still feels genuine — an accomplishment that can be attributed to stellar performances from Anton and Green.

“Of An Age” falls on many classic romance tropes, employing a similar 24-hour love story format as Richard Linklater’s “Before Sunrise” trilogy. However, the fleeting queer romance feels refreshing, exploring not only Kol and Adam’s romantic feelings, but also their incongruity in moving on from their short-lived romance. This right-person-wrong-time tale surrounds its characters with a collision of intimacy and nostalgia, making viewers swoon along to the bittersweet journey.

4 rhinestoned unitards out of 5