August 28, 2009

Taking Woodstock - 2009

Director: Ang Lee
Writer: James Schamus
Starring: Demitri Martin, Imelda Staunton, Liev Schreiber, Emile Hirsch

Ang Lee's sixth English film Taking Woodstock depicts the real life story of Elliot Tiber, a nice Jewish boy from the Catskills, who ends up essentially hosting the defining cultural moment of the 20th century in his backyard.

Content warning, before I go on with the actual review: this film contains heavy nudity from both of the major genders, as well as gay content (Tiber was present at the Stonewall Riot, which gets a casual mention). If either of those bother you, don't see the movie (or feel the need to revisit this blog). Also, the concert itself receives virtually no screentime, so don't go in expecting to hear great music from the 1960s.

I'm going to break my trend of current films and put this in the category of "you don't need to see it tomorrow, but it's worth at least matinee price." While Martin's acting does fall a bit flat at times, the script and supporting cast back him up nicely. Staunton's old Jewish lady is so good, you'll forget she was ever Dolores Umbridge, and Hirsch's portrayal of a PTSD-suffering Vietnam veteran is spot-on. There's even a nice acid trip (come on, it's inevitable) scene with Paul Dano, of Little Miss Sunshine and There Will Be Blood fame. And as for Schreiber...there's just something about seeing the ex-Sabretooth don a blonde wig and dress and chase bigots around with a baseball bat. I didn't even mind that Ang Lee utilized the same split-screen technique he did in Hulk. In fact, I think I can finally forgive Mr. Lee for that travesty of a superhero movie.

1 comment:

  1. For his first full length motion picture with a lead role, Demetri hit it. His character was loveable and real.
    He killed some lines, though.