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Movies  |  Reviews

Taking Woodstock

August 27, 2009  |  8:00am
Taking Woodstock
Release Date: Aug. 28
Director:
Ang Lee
Writer:
James Schamus
Cinematographer:
Eric Gautier
Starring:
Demetri Martin, Liev Schreiber, Emile Hirsch

Woodstock memoir hijacked by co-star

In the middle of this true story about rundown motel employee Elliot Tiber bringing the vaunted Woodstock festival to his hometown and coming to terms with his own sexuality, Elliot (played by Martin) stares at all the work going on around him, agog and overwhelmed by the forces in motion. This also encapsulates how Martin’s first star turn gets gobbled up like so many hits of blotter acid by the history happening all around him. Martin’s straight-and-closeted performance turns reactive, his epiphany lost in the film’s hallucinatory centerpiece. Throughout, the screen splits and flips to handheld 16mm footage in homage to the original Woodstock documentary, but Lee’s trippy direction is too light to take hold. When Liev Schreiber stomps into the film with his long blonde hair, tight mini dress, bulging shoulders, and high heels, he proceeds to take Woodstock for himself.

Watch the Taking Woodstock trailer:

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