29 August 2009
Movie Review: "Taking Woodstock"
To say that Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock adhered completely to Elliot Tibor's memoir of the same name would be a lie. But to say that it deviated from the book, from the message of the book, would also be a lie. Lots of details were left out, as in any movie version of a book, but the most important message was there: love those around you, live your dreams, and let yourself be free. The film had a dual track, partially focusing on Elliot's distressed relationships with his parents, and partially outlining how Woodstock, the legendary hippie festival, began and played out. The movie takes focus off the musicians and the heavy crowds of Woodstock, and focuses instead on the outliers, giving you a real individual perspective, taking the macro and bringing it down into the micro. Every scene is entirely believable, and each role is played with intense attention to detail. Famous actors (Demitri Martin, Emile Hirsch) are entirely their characters, and relatively unknown actors (Jonathan Groff) present an equally convincing portrait of the '60s groove. Sometimes Taking Woodstock meanders along without any real action or drama, a style seen in Lee's other films, such as Brokeback Mountain and Lust, Caution. Moments like this, however, just add to the aesthetic beauty and peaceful, no worries attitude that Taking Woodstock is all about. In other words, beautiful, wonderful movie and I loved it. I highly recommend that you all should go see it!!!