Old Joy – Review

Worth seeing: to whet the appetite for a nice walk in the country
Director:Kelly Reichardt
Featuring:Daniel London, Will Oldham, Keri Moran, Robin Rosenberg, Tanya Smith
Length:73 minutes
Certificate:15
Country:US
Released:26th January 2007

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Mark (Daniel London) is pottering around at home doing nothing much when an old friend, Kurt (Will Oldham), calls him up and suggests going camping for the weekend.

With apologies to his other half, Mark sets off to meet Kurt and they head into the country.

They get lost. They get back on track. They trek through the woods, along the river. They find a spa and bath in the warm spring water for a while.

They talk, they bond.

They go home.

That’s pretty much it.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

OK, so there’s some nice scenery. It’s beautifully filmed. The performances are pleasantly underplayed. But then, how can you underplay a part that’s given pretty much nothing to do?

The two old friends catch up, but they don’t really have that much in common – and they don’t really have much of interest to say.

It’s basically just an hour and a quarter of watching a couple of not very interesting guys going for a walk and talking about not very much. There really just doesn’t seem to be much point to this film.

It’s the cinematic equivalent of the test card – it looks nice enough and is perfectly inoffensive but you wouldn’t want to stare at that for nearly an hour and a quarter.

Perhaps the best thing that can be said about it is that it makes you want to get outside – you’ll probably want to get out of the cinema long before their trip is over – but you won’t want to head home – you’ll want to hit a woodland trail, experience the wild and breathe some fresh country air.