Sunday, September 24, 2006

Old Joy

Not that I've seen all that many movies this year, but this one has to rank as one of my favorites. So quiet and pleasant especially after the gabfest of Mutual Appreciation.

Two old friends on a camping trip. One (Daniel London) is about to become a father and isn't quite sure how happy he is to be so settled. The other (Will Oldham) is rudderless and searching for something, whether it be by reclaming the old closeness he used to share with an old friend or by getting high at Big Sur with people he doesn't know all that well. This movie is about not stating things, about keeping things in. The only scene where any character really speaks his mind about his feelings leads to extreme awkwardness so he takes it back.

London never states he's apprehensive about being such a grownup (Zach Braff, are you listening?) and Oldham never states he's upset about being such a fuckup. Neither needs to. The loneliness, the longing, the uncertainty is written all over their faces and body language. There are longs stretches of silence that are perfect. The conversations are so real to the point that over the past few days, I've been thinking about some of the stories told in the film and wondering which one of my friends had said them.

The score by Yo La Tengo, of course, works.

After I saw the movie, I saw Will Oldham outside the theater hanging out. He was there for a Q and A following the next showing. Then I saw James McNew while eating dinner with SHR and Beth at Great Jones. I almost said something to him but chickened out even when he was standing right next to at the jukebox.

This is definitely Will Oldham's best acting work since that Baby Jessica stuck in a well flick on Lifetime.

Director: Kelly Reichardt
2005, Year of Release: 2006
Film Forum

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Leave Zach alone , Bully! :)

Listmaker said...

i dare you to see his latest movie.

Jim said...

James McNew is very friendly and accessible. I had a conversation with him in a bar in Baltimore once.

Anonymous said...

I would see him in anything he is just so adorable