Taking Woodstock

November 11, 2009 – 4:29 pm | by Peekay

taking-woodstock-posterDespite it’s name, the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival didn’t actually take place in Woodstock as the local inhabitants at the time were scared of what a few hundred hippies would do to their town.

In the end the festival took place in White Lake with nearly half a million people attending or at least trying to.

Ang Lee’s latest film Taking Woodstock tells the story of Elliot Tiber and how he brought the festival to his hometown. Played wonderfully by Demetri Martin, Elliot is finding his feet as an interior designer in Greenwich Village, and feeling at home with the burgeoning gay rights movement.

But he still feels duty bound to return each summer to help his parents failing El Monaco motel, run by his strident, outspoken Jewish Russion mother (Imelda Staunton) and fading father (Henry Goodman). In the summer of 1969 Elliot hears that the Woodstock festival is being chased out of town after town and sees an opportunity to offer his motel to the promoters and make some much-needed income.

Of course things begin to take on a life of their own as the Woodstock chaos and magic comes together to create a generation-defining experience that will change Elliot – and popular culture – forever.

Ang Lee has created a beautiful piece of cinema, as he not only tells Elliot’s story but also shows the importance of the events going on around him. Two hours has rarely gone by so fast.

Highly Recommended. Taking Woodstock is released this Friday 13th November 2009 in cinemas nationwide.

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4 stars (out of 5)