DIRECTED BY ANG LEE
Woodstock, the music festival which became the crowning moment of the hippie era, would not have happened were it not for Elliot Tiber, a young gay man trying to save his parents’ struggling motel.
Exploiting his position as the youngest ever president of his local Chamber of Commerce, Tiber (comedian Demetri Martin) gives permission for the concert be staged on a local farm in order to ensure customers for the El Monaco Motel, setting in motion this low-key but charming comedy-drama about family and finding yourself.
Rather than focus on the festival itself, the film – based on Tiber’s own account of events – looks at the people behind the scenes who made Woodstock happen.
Performances, especially from the supporting cast, are excellent, with Liev Schreiber (recently seen as the villainous Sabretooth in Wolverine) particularly charming as a transvestite ex-marine who teaches Tiber a valuable lesson about life.
Ang Lee makes great use of split-screen shots, capturing both the energy of the festival as well as the cinematic style of the award-winning documentary, Woodstock; and presents one of the most effectively shot acid trips I’ve ever seen on film.
Taking Woodstock is a simple but solid coming of age story, and is utterly charming.