Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Taking Woodstock

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for graphic nudity, some sexual content, drug use and language
Profanity:Constant very strong language
Nudity/Sex:Nudity, gay and straight sexual references and situations
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, smoking, drugs (including acid trip and hash brownies)
Violence/Scariness:Some violence, gun
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:August 28, 2009
DVD Release Date:December 15, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for graphic nudity, some sexual content, drug use and language
Profanity: Constant very strong language
Nudity/Sex: Nudity, gay and straight sexual references and situations
Alcohol/Drugs: Drinking, smoking, drugs (including acid trip and hash brownies)
Violence/Scariness: Some violence, gun
Diversity Issues: Diverse characters
Movie Release Date: August 28, 2009
DVD Release Date: December 15, 2009

This is a movie about what went on in the community near Woodstock while the concert that would forever be known by that name was happening. And a happening. In other words, this is a footnote movie. It tries to make the town a metaphor and counterpoint, a sort of counter-counter-culture, with reactions to and some participation in the sex, drugs, and rock and roll that was going on nearby, but it is impossible to watch it without wanting to ask the characters to move to one side because they are obstructing our view of Jimi Hendrix.

Those who remember the now-iconic moments from the classic documentary may enjoy seeing a few brief in-jokes (the interview with the port-a-potty guy, the nun flashing the peace sign) and some will appreciate the combination of vision and happenstance that led to the festival and its place in public consciousness as a marker for a generational shift. But director Ang Lee (“Brokeback Mountain,” “Sense and Sensibility”) falters when he tries to tie it all to his favorite theme of the internal struggle with repressed desires.

Advertisement

Jonathan Groff is sweetly beatific as concert organizer Michael Lang and Liev Schreiber is nicely matter-of-fact as Vilma, a pistol-packing cross-dressing vet. But the best parts of the movie are the details around the edges. The story of Elliot (a likable Demetri Martin), a Greenwich Village decorator caught up in the struggles of his parents’ failing Catskills motel is not involving or illuminating enough to hold the screen. His New York Jewish parents, despite the best efforts of Brits Imelda Staunton and Henry Goodman, are the usual bickering stereotypes. Emile Hirsch is the usual crazed Vietnam vet stereotype. A troupe of college actors is there only to show Elliot’s interest in the arts and to take their clothes off. An LSD trip sequence is, as LSD trip sequences are, more boring than listening to someone else telling what happened in his dream. And it is difficult to feel any tension when some of the neighbors try to stop the concert because we all know how it turned out.

Advertisement

Previous Posts

Trailer: Samuel L. Jackson is the President in "Big Game"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKThy0cipVA ...

posted 8:00:34am Apr. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Song from the Forest
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekirhw2MMwQ I was delighted to see that there is a documentary about Louis Sarno, whose work I have admired since I saw the wonderful film Oka! directed by Lavinia ...

posted 8:00:43am Apr. 24, 2015 | read full post »

The Age of Adaline
Be careful what you wish for.  You think it would be great to stay 29 forever?  Adaline (Blake Lively) finds out that it is not great to become unstuck from time, to watch everyone you love grow old and die, to hurt those you care about ...

posted 5:59:10pm Apr. 23, 2015 | read full post »

The Water Diviner
Before it detours into not one, not two, but at least three preposterous Hollywood twists, "The Water Diviner" is an absorbing drama about ...

posted 5:58:54pm Apr. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Critics Write About Our First Encounters with Star Wars
The latest Criticwire survey asks for our first encounters with "Star Wars." I had a lot of fun writing about mine: A long, long time ...

posted 9:22:38am Apr. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.