Archives / 1991 Sundance Film Festival

Twenty-One

Director: Don Boyd

Screenwriters: Don Boyd, Zoe Heller

Institute History

Description

Katie is twenty-one and English. Having recently moved to New York City, she recounts to us, her audience, the events in her twenty-first year that prompted her to leave home and the people she loves. As if she were writing in her diary, Katie shares the secrets of her life with us: her ongoing affair with Jack, her married "sex object"; her close relationship with her father Kenneth; and the nonexistence of any communication with her mother. She tells us of her friends, Baldie and Francesca, who are usually there for advice and compassion. And there is her true love, Bobby, the twenty-seven-year-old Scot whom she thinks she cannot live without. Her story unfolds slowly in this compassionate drama. With Katie as our guide, we are privy to her most intimate thoughts, which sculpt a portrait of this young woman who is neither completely innocent, nor really sophisticated in the ways of this world, but who clearly is a survivor. She is neither haunted nor tortured by her past; instead she is astutely aware of the effect it has had on her life.

Patsy Kensit is a standout as Katie, bringing an enormous amount of charisma, warmth, and humor to her role, and supported by a elegant script. Director Don Boyd, best known as the producer of Aria, blends the performances, story and the integral cinematic device of Katie's direct camera narration with exceptional dexterity. Thus he never misses an opportunity to communicate Katie's feelings through pure technique. Katie views the future with optimistic uncertainty, convinced she can win over the world. With its warmth and wit, Twenty-One is prepared to accomplish the same goal.


— Alberto Garcia

Screening Details

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