By Tara McNamara,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Spirited main character shines in bleak, mature drama.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Themes of family, ambition, perseverance, and survival.
Positive Role Models
Goldie has grit: She's determined to do whatever it takes to keep her family together after her mother is arrested. But she engages in illegal/iffy behavior to try to get that done.
Violence & Scariness
A man is maced during a physical altercation with a young woman. Playful towel-snapping turns painful.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A young woman is seen in her underwear, getting dressed after implied sex. A couple kisses and starts having sex (a woman's breasts are shown) while another woman in the room verbally participates with graphic language. Kissing. Lead character often dresses in skimpy clothing; in one instance, her mother tells her to cover up.
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Extremely strong language includes "ass," "bitch," "damn," "f--k," "hell," "s--t." People of color call each other the "N" word. Middle finger is flipped.
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Products & Purchases
A character believes that obtaining a fur coat will lead to the means to escape poverty. A rapper wears gold chains and fills his music video with flashy sports cars and beautiful young women as signs of wealth. Children mention a PlayStation as something fun.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A negative character smokes and encourages an 18-year-old to drink hard liquor. Drug dealing is shown as leading to arrest, and many characters make it clear that it's unacceptable. But the main character sells Percocet as a quick means to getting money, and there's no consequence.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Goldie is a coming-of-age drama that stars model Slick Woods as Goldie, an 18-year-old aspiring dancer who's trying to escape poverty while keeping her family together. It's a character study that starts out by showing Goldie and her family as upbeat, supportive, and hopeful. But then the threads start to come undone: Goldie's mom and boyfriend are dealing drugs, which later leads to the mother's arrest. Goldie then takes her siblings on the run in hopes of keeping them together. Goldie has some admirable qualities, like tenacity, perseverance, and a survivalist nature, but her iffy choices mean she's not exactly a role model. She puts all of her energy into getting hired to dance in a music video, believing it will give her fame and money -- and, to achieve that, she steals, lies, deals drugs, and sleeps with a man she knows is bad news. A sexual scene involves a threesome, bare breasts, and some steamy sex talk. And that's on top of tons of other strong language, including "s--t," "f--k," the "N" word and more. Characters also smoke and drink.
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What's the Story?
In GOLDIE, Goldie (Slick Woods) is an 18-year-old on the brink of getting her first shot at being a dancer in a music video. But when her mother is arrested and child services makes plans to take her siblings into custody, Goldie goes on the run with her little sisters while still working toward her dream. She believes that fame and money will soon follow.
Is It Any Good?
Woods makes an unforgettable impression in her feature debut in this spunky, if not necessarily enjoyable, coming-of-age drama. She makes us feel like we've never seen a character like Goldie -- even though movies are full of young women who find themselves struggling in difficult circumstances. Woods isn't just a fresh face; she has an original look, and she's absolutely captivating. Even when Goldie is making terrible decisions, you can't help rooting for her.
That's to the credit of Norwegian writer-director Sam de Jong, who punches up an otherwise too depressing story with a constant reminder of childhood exuberance and optimism. Goldie is buoyed by her two sisters, 12-year-old Supreme (Jazmyn C. Dorsey) and 8-year-old Sherrie (Alanna Renee Tyler-Tompkins), whose presence is always felt even when they're not on-screen. The film is broken into chapters, with the titles announced by the young girls' voices. Chalk-type animations pepper the chapter titles, images, and Goldie's dreams -- which helps bring out Goldie's childish thought patterns. The animations remind us that, despite her savvy, tough exterior, Goldie is still the bouncy girl viewers met at the beginning of the film. Just days later, she's grown into a mature, young woman. In theory, it's progress, but her forced projection into adulthood rips open your heart as an absolute tragedy.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the impact that poverty has on the characters in Goldie. Why do Goldie and her mother sell drugs when they know the dire consequences they face if caught? Are drugs and/or drinking glamorized?
Talk about the plot device of kids who are wiser than their parents. Why do you think we see this so frequently? What do you think is the impact of repeatedly seeing this parent-child relationship in the media?
How is this movie similar to a novel? What literary devices are employed? What does the canary-colored coat symbolize?
Does the movie have a message or takeaway?
- In theaters: February 21, 2020
- On DVD or streaming: April 14, 2020
- Cast: Slick Woods, George Sample III, Marsha Stephanie Blake
- Director: Sam de Jong
- Inclusion Information: Black actors
- Studio: Film Movement
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters
- Character Strengths: Perseverance
- Run time: 88 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: January 5, 2023
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