TAKING WOODSTOCK(15, 120 mins) 6/10
Taking Woodstock is handsomely crafted, as you would expect from Lee (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain) but his new film lacks that vital spark.
Stand-up comedian Martin is an interesting casting choice for the laconic leading man, but he is upstaged by dreamy newcomer Groff and a scenery-chewing Staunton, who is never short of a sharp word for anyone who crosses her, such as the bank manager who refuses her extra credit after years of custom.
From a purely technical perspective, Lee’s film is a triumph, interweaving iconography from the era around moments of pure artistic licence.
A sequence in which Elliot sits pillion on a policeman’s motorcycle and weaves through hundreds of cars that have reduced the highway to a mile-long parking lot must have been a logistical nightmare, but looks astounding on the big screen.
Like Elliot, we’re in awe of his father, who has managed to withstand the rants without losing his patience.
“How have you done it? How have you lived with her for 40 years?” asks the son.
“I love her,” replies the old man. Simple as that.