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Taking Woodstock

In Art, Being Gay, Clothing, concerts, Dating, decor, Hollywood, Music, Night Out, Relationships, reviews, sex on October 21, 2009 at 6:36 pm

taking_woodstock

It seemed everywhere you looked this August there was a mention of Woodstock. The 40th anniversary of the festival brought back a lot of memories, most noticeably with the release of Taking Woodstock, the newest movie from the Oscar winning director Ang Lee.

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Elliot Tiber (Demetri Martin) is the focal point of the story. He unselfishly puts his own life on hold to help his parents avoid the foreclosure of their rundown motel. After being denied loans by several banks, he hears about a music festival that had been cancelled in a nearby town. Thinking the festival would bring in a lot of fast cash for his parents, he schedules it in his town with the help of his neighbor Max Yasgur (Eugene Levy). At this point, the crowds start to roll in, bringing with them plenty of money and drugs, giving Elliot the freedom he always craved, so he could finally become who he really is.

Taking Woodstock is a fun, crazy, coming of age story, and the cast was terrific. Martin plays his character really well; he is awkward and careful … just how you would be if you had never truly been yourself around the people closest to you. Emile Hirsch, who played a troubled Vietnam veteran, was able to convey the psychological pain that many veterans faced after the war, yet still be funny and endearing. Liev Schreiber, who played a cross-dressing bodyguard, stole the movie for me. Not only did he have some of the best lines in the movie, but you looked forward to the time when he was on screen.

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If you are looking for a movie about Woodstock that has some clips or reenactments of the performers, this movie isn’t for you. Instead, Woodstock takes a back seat in this film so that it can properly tell Elliot’s story. You do catch a few glimpses of the festival though. In one amazing shot where Elliot takes acid, he climbs to the top of a hill to look over the swaying crowd. Slowly, the crowd starts to evaporate and turn into a wave that you would see in the ocean. This shot was truly magical and made the movie worth seeing!

Overall: B+

-Lindsay Dahlstrom

Photo Source 1, 2, 3

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