Woodstock or Bust (2019) Poster

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10/10
A Groovy Little Gem
wgow0130 June 2019
A wonderful film of trying to reach a dream. Everything about this film is magical, relatable and even nostalgic. Now, I'm a '90s baby, but it felt so genuine and from the heart that you could really imagine yourself in the '60s. One of my personal highlights would be the film's soundtrack, both original and classic rock tunes are sprinkled throughout, adding to the groovy atmosphere.

This movie is like a tall glass of lemonade on a hot, humid afternoon - it's a welcomed break from all the crap that's been pumping through Hollywood recently. In a sea of sequels and reboots, it's nice to see something sweet, simple and original.
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10/10
100/10 Beautiful Film
leslie-6825026 August 2019
Such an amazing film that does a wonderful job showing the ups and downs of a high school friendship. Along with showing what the pros and cons are to following your dreams. A great coming of age movie.
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10/10
A heartwarming road trip movie by Mads Lennon
leslie-6825026 August 2019
Woodstock or Bust review: A heartwarming road trip movie by Mads Lennon

Woodstock or Bust is a heartwarming story about female friendship wrapped up in a vibrant bubble of nostalgia and anchored by two excellent performances.

It was the heart of the summer in 1969, and the Woodstock Music Festival is right around the corner. Two 17-year-old singer/songwriters from the West Coast make it their dream to reach the capital of peace and love to share their music and passion to hundreds of festival-goers in the new film, Woodstock or Bust. But making it across the country won't be an easy task. Meryl (The Foster's Meg DeLacy) and Lorian (The Hunger Games' Willow Shields) find that out the hard way when they come up against unsupportive parents, drugs, and the strangeness of the long-winding highways. Their journey to Woodstock takes them on a three-day road trip that will change their lives, and friendship, forever. I recommend you take the time to watch this spirited film about female friendship and their ambitious dreams flourishing in the psychedelic wonder of the late '60s.

I'm glad a woman directed Woodstock or Bust. Leslie Bloom takes the helm in her feature film directorial debut. She also co-wrote the film alongside Judi Blaze. You can tell that women were behind the writing as the friendship depicted between Meryl and Lorian feels positive and realistic. It's a little jagged around the edges, just the way it should be.

Following Meryl and Lorian on their cross-country adventure will leave you with plenty of belly laughs and a sense of genuine care for these girls. Sometimes they're childish and naive, but you're never left to forget they're only 17, and those mistakes are all part of growing up.

DeLacy and Shields play off one another as if they grew up together and anchor the movie with their ironclad and heartfelt friendship. Their charismatic performances elevate the material where it drags in some places.

There were a few spots of the film that became tonally uneven, particularly a moment where Lorian is nearly assaulted in a car garage. I found the scene jarring and out of context with the rest of the film. From it blossoms a vital moment of sincerity between the two friends but I could have done without it.

Beyond that, Woodstock or Bust is a tremendously entertaining film with plenty to say. The best part is that it lets its two leads do the talking and becomes all the better for that choice.

Woodstock or Bust will be available on digital streaming platforms beginning on August 13th.
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9/10
An authentic character masterpiece
callumtrevitt27 August 2019
Woodstock or Bust is an authentic tale of aspiration, hope, envy and redemption. The two rising star leads really make the story fly and are backed up by a talented and well-directed supporting cast. Though the story as a whole is relatively simple, it is very real and unveils more complicated character flaws and traits as the film develops. It is a successful coming of age story - the point was never to make it to Woodstock, but to stand in solidarity with what really matters - friendship, love, peace and hope.

It is a film that doesn't shy away from the truths of life, whilst also being a plinth of hope in an ever divisive world.
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3/10
There is no woodstock
ggt66729 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
The movie may just as well have been titled; Isle of Wight or Bust
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1/10
Cute film, but nothing special
Bob_Harris_UK28 August 2019
While this film is just about OK, it's nothing special. It's about two teenager girls wanting to get to Woodstock, against the wishes of their parents. Nothing too improbable about the films story-line, and no real surprises anywhere.

On a technical level, the film appears to have been made by newbies to the film-making industry, notably when the girls sing, and the audio changes distinctly from from ambient to in-studio, despite being in an open barn. Plus, there was no real attempt to do lip-sync during the songs.

As for the songs themselves, again there's nothing special with any of the new compositions, and they lacked the vibrancy of the Woodstock era.
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10/10
Charming and innocuous,
leslie-6825031 August 2019
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, Rocketman, Once 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.
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10/10
"Woodstock Or Bust" Is A Hit With Us - The Coming-Of-Age Film
leslie-6825010 September 2019
Recently released at the start of August, Woodstock Or Bust drew us in from the minute we watched the trailer. The film was officially released to streaming services on August 12, 2019, and we loved this film from beginning to end. Willow Shields (The Hunger Games - as Primrose Everden, The Unsettling, Spinning Out) and Meg DeLacy (The Fosters, F*&% the Prom) star as our main characters, Lorian and Meryl respectively, and they really display their friendship throughout.

It is the year 1969, the film takes the viewers on a journey of a duo who love to sing but are bored with their small-time gigs in their small little town. So, they decide to go on an adventure to attempt to get bigger audiences and hopefully make their dreams come true and turn it into a career. It's an aspiring story for all and one that has many twists and turns throughout. In the opening scene, we are introduced to Lorian and Meryl. They're performing at small little events, showcasing their musical ability - and they sure are brilliant singers. The first scene shows Meryl's mother, Sophia played by Lisa Skvarla (The Collectibles, Divine Shadow), introducing them to a room of people, but it's clear Sophia doesn't take an interest or even support her daughter in her music, regardless of how talented both girls are. More scenes continue, showcasing their aspirations and the other events they perform at.

Soon enough, they stumble across a poster for Woodstock and decide to hatch a plan to go there and persuade the organisers to give them a spot on the line-up, probably at the end while everyone is leaving. It's a crazy idea but one they believe in and a goal for them to reach towards. The perfect opportunity to do so comes up when Sophia tells Meryl and Lorian they ought to go to a Christian summer camp - even though Lorian is Jewish, and so it takes her some time to persuade her mother, Irene played by Brandie Sylfae (Bloodmoon, Dusk To Dusk). Of course, instead of going to this Christian camp, they head to Woodstock.

There are so many twists and turns throughout their journey to Woodstock. Considering how the film starts with these two innocent 17-year-olds, the journey puts them through their paces from picking up various hitchhikers - have they never heard of stranger danger? - to going to see a seedy mechanic. They do make a friend on the way, Nick who they knew as Mick like Mick Jagger for some time until they realise he's actually just called Nick; he is played by newcomer Teddy Van Ee; and how can we forget about the stint in jail during a brilliant scene with fellow prisoner, Sheelah played by Jennifer Lanier (Chapter Perfect, Scrapper).

This is one coming-of-age film like no other and the trajectory of small-town young girls going on an adventure with unbelievable, yet very real, twists and turns make Woodstock Or Bust a total must-see. The only thing that this film is lacking is an official soundtrack release. The amount of amazing songs we hear throughout makes us wish we could add those tracks to our Spotify or our Apple Music, or any other music streaming service - such as Deezer, Tidal, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, or Google Play Music.

Woodstock Or Bust has been directed by Leslie Bloom, who also acted as the executive producer, and she is also listed as the co-writer alongside Judi Blaze. Martin Wiley acts as the producer and the music for the film is by Blair Borland. It has been produced by Big Kid Films whilst it has been distributed by TriCoast Studios, and ChromaColor dealt with the post-production. The film also stars Corey Brunish, Christopher Kozak, Elijah Stevenson, Rachelle Henry, Michael E. Bell, Ella DeVito, Brian Sutherland, Nathan Parrott, Sandra Doolittle, James F. Leo, and many more. This film is available to watch on digitally on streaming services. We urge you to go and watch it, it really is a must-see.
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10/10
It's campy, charming and incredibly nostalgic.
lesliekbve10 September 2019
Woodstock or Bust is a small film with big ambitions. At its core it's a road movie, telling the story of two teenage girls embarking on a crazy adventure. But director Leslie Bloom strives for more, using the 60's setting to explore social and political issues in original and entertaining ways.

Meryl (Meg DeLacy) and Lorian (Willow Shields) are two best friends and aspiring singer-songwriters. They have their heads among the stars but are stuck playing gigs in nothing venues in Oregon, until they have the idea to travel to Woodstock Music Festival and share their songs with the world.

The strongest assets of the film are the performances of Meg DeLacy and Willow Shields. The premise of the whole movie rests on the believability of the relationship, and the two strike up a truly endearing friendship. Surely bolstered by the presence of director and co-writer Bloom, the film presents the authentic kind of female friendship that's rarely portrayed on screen. They cross each other, and act irrationally at each other's expense, but would clearly do anything for each other and that sentiment shines through in their performances.

Woodstock is almost treated as the promised land and an escape from the shadow of the Vietnam war that was looming over America at the time. The details in the costumes and sets are really impressive and, along with the sprinklings of rock and pop music throughout, go along way to making the film feel authentic. There's a wavy drug trip sequence in particular that captures the psychedelic vibe of the era perfectly.

Despite the titular ultimatum 'Woodstock or Bust', the film focuses more on it's journey than the destination. DeLacy and Shields both have angelic singing voices, and carry off the performance scenes with such confidence that you really start to believe that Mer' and Lor' might just make it if they can just find their way to the festival. But the story isn't really about Woodstock, it's about the evolution of these young women's friendship, which you come to be very invested in over the lean 90 minute runtime.

There are a few moments of tonal confusion. The bulk of the film is this frothy and warm buddy story. Yet Bloom also reaches for moments of real drama, some of which land and some don't. As mentioned, there's a recurring thread about the impact of the Vietnam war on the American people, which is for the most part handled with grace. But there are other scenes that feel like they've been dropped in from a different movie. Certain moments like Meryl's encounter with a sleazy mechanic feel quite jarring alongside the overall warmth of the film.

On the whole, I had a really good time with Woodstock or Bust. It's campy, charming and incredibly nostalgic. A few scenes don't work, but the vast majority do, which is mostly down to the strength of Meg Delacy and Willow Shields
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