6.7/10
25,997
71 user 209 critic

Taking Woodstock (2009)

A man working at his parents' motel in the Catskills inadvertently sets in motion the generation-defining concert in the summer of 1969.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (book) | 1 more credit »

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8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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British Gentleman
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Jackson Spiers
Lee Wong ...
George the Doorman (as Takeo Lee Wong)
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Esther
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Bette Henritze ...
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Margaret
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Dan
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Gail Martino ...
Town Clerk
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Dave
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Storyline

A man working at his parents' motel in the Catskills inadvertently sets in motion the generation-defining concert in the summer of 1969.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"A Generation Began In His Backyard."


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic nudity, some sexual content, drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

28 August 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aconteceu em Woodstock  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,457,760, 30 August 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$7,443,007, 27 September 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The cost of a ticket to attend the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was eighteen dollars in advance, and 24 dollars for all three days. See more »

Goofs

Elliot's haircut is right out of the 80's-90's. No young chamber of commerce member in 1969 Bethel, New York would have any hair even touching his ears, or running down his neck. See more »

Quotes

Carol: Everyone with their little perspective. Perspective shuts out the universe, it keeps the love out.
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Connections

References Topaz (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

How Could We Know
Written by Jamie Dunlap, Stephen Lang and Scott Nickoley
Performed by Lori Mark
Courtesy of Marc Ferrari/Mastersource
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A loving and lovely tribute to a brief moment in time
29 August 2009 | by See all my reviews

Perhaps more than most films, you'll either get this or you won't. Ang Lee seems to have conjured up the past with an accuracy that most filmmakers would spoil with reverence. Through a series of vignettes and very small references to Wadleigh's 1970 documentary, "Woodstock," a legendary moment in culture gets celebrated with a sweetness that was part of the era that quickly evaporated.

I was reminded of the film "Dirty Dancing" not just in the setting but in the tone. Ang Lee keeps the humor from becoming too broad in depiction of the locals whose lives were about to up-ended in a way that no one anticipated but few would not welcome. The actors in particular find a common level to play with that draws the audience into the excitement. We know what will happen, but as the momentum builds to the actual event the audience is swept away just as the characters in the film are.

The key character, a very unimposing Demetri Martin, never falters in this coming-of-age story that mirrors the culture changes swirling around him. He gives a very strong performance and is virtually never off the screen.

I had read that the "main event" isn't recreated, and that's partially true. However, we "see" what most of the actual participants of the event saw of the performances on a stage set up in a cow field. It's a stunning moment in the film and as magical as the experience must have been. I was roughly the same age as the character, struggling with the changes of adolescence at a moment in time when there really weren't road-maps for the future. While I was far away from the East Coast, this event reached me in many of the same ways as the characters in the film. I suppose for most people my age that was also true.

While I flinched a few times when a "plot" would intrude into this whole dazzling work, it served the purpose for the power and point of the final moments: Standing in the muddy aftermath the hope of what was going to happen next was palpable for a whole generation, but the next event, Altamont with the Rolling Stones, ended it all with crushing horror. Yet, the optimism is still alive, I think. Equality for many racial and sexual minorities were fulfilled…or are being so fulfilled at this time…and one of the more ironic points of the film was actually scored during the trailers that preceded the feature: the previews for Michael Moore's "Capitalism" and that subject is what really ended the counterculture.

But for Ang Lee he gives the 40th Anniversary of the Woodstock festival an original and unsentimental celebration. (And if hippies annoy you, this isn't the film you need to see.)


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