Saturday, August 31, 2019

woodstock or bust

Charming and innocuous, Woodstock or Bust follows two songbird friends (played appealingly by Willow Shields and Meg DeLacy) who attempt to trek to the 1969 music fest with dreams of performing on-stage. Directed with delicacy by Leslie Bloom, the film is one of those coming-of-age tales of young friendship that may have hit me harder emotionally as a freshman college student--it seems aimed at this demographic who may be just beginning to dip their toes with interest in a time gone by, rather than an older group accustomed to either real-life experiences or more enveloping, complex portrayals.

As mentioned in previous reviews this year, there's been a bevy of late 60s / early 70s-set movies in recent months (Annabelle Comes Home, RocketmanOnce Upon A Time in Hollywood, and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark) of varying degree of quality. All share a similar ache. Woodstock or Bust, with its plucked guitar throwback score by Blair Borland (slight incarnations of "Born to Be Wild, "Touch Me," and "Eight Days a Week" abound) and angelic original songs by Michelle Curtis Purvance ("Northern Lights" is a highlight), is a road-trip movie of an emboldened female friendship that lands with a starry-skied hush. ***

-Jeffery Berg

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