Movie Reviews


The Movie: Taking Woodstock

Woodstock poster

Direction: A

The Cast: A-

Overall: A

So, basically, I really enjoyed this movie. I’m a huge movie fanatic, and I really appreciate truly great, well-made movies, and I think Taking Woodstock is definitely such a film. Sidenote: I also love predictable chick flicks or absolutely ridiculous slasher films, but I wouldn’t call most of them great films. Back to Woodstock. Ang Lee does an amazing job in his direction. Virtually every shot is aesthetically stunning, and he uses some unique techniques that work very well in the film. For example, he uses a split screen for a lot of scenes to show both what is going on with the main character and what is going on around him simultaneously. This technique helps give you the feeling of chaos that accompanied the “planning” of Woodstock and allows you to see all the different people attending the concert, which is really where the film does a fantastic job at making you feel as if you are back in the summer of 1969. In terms of the cast, I have to say I loved just about everyone besides the main character, played by Demetri Martin, and his mother, played by Imelda Staunton. It’s not that Martin does a bad job, he’s simply unimpressive, especially next to the secondary characters. Emile Hirsch, as a soldier who just returned from Vietnam, and Liev Schreiber, as a cross-dressing war veteran, are the real stars in my opinion. I mean, how can this not be amazing? 


Eugene Levy also makes a small but amazing appearance. Overall, I’d definitely recommend this movie to anyone looking for a great movie, both entertainment-wise and artistically. I should warn, however, that Woodstock fans looking for a movie about the music will be very disappointed, as none of it is ever shown, and there is a lot of unexpected nudity… although I guess in a film about hippies I shouldn’t have been so surprised.


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