Friday, October 10, 2008

Old Joy (2006)

Under the Netflix rating system I would have given this 4 stars because I "really liked it", but I can't justify putting it in the "see it eventually" category if only because it has a pretty limited appeal and your time might be better spent actually going into nature instead of sitting on the couch watching others do it. In the film two old friends who don't have much in common anymore get lost and become slightly annoyed with each other while trying to find some hot springs, but they end up having a pretty good time. That's all. Many viewers will be bored to death, and some have even (unfairly) compared it to The (infinitely more pointless) Brown Bunny. But the film had an almost magical calming effect on me. And it really captures that wonderful feeling we've all had when you finally arrive somewhere very beautiful after a very uncomfortable journey. Kurt (the great Will Oldham, left) describes their eventual destination as a place that has this "other-worldly peacefulness to it". At the time he says it his friend Mark, along with the viewers, is thinking to himself "you silly hippie". But then we finally get there and it's like "Damn, he was right!"

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