It takes a lot of chutzpah to do a film about the most famous concert ever and have the action go near Woodstock, along the outskirts of Woodstock, behind the scenes at Woodstock, but never show us the concert itself. It could lead to a vague sense that there’s a better movie to be seen, off screen.
And to a certain extent, I admire Ang Lee for doing it (I'm actually a huge Lee fan and even liked his much-maligned Lust, Caution). After all, the Woodstock story has been told many times before. However, the story of the small innkeepers in the Catskills who unwittingly become the host to half a million hippie guests? Now that story has not been told.
And Lee almost pulls it off.
As the film starts, we meet the dutiful son, Elliot Teichberg (newcomer Demetri Martin) and his crotchety innkeeper parents, Jake (Henry Goodman) and Sonya (Imelda Staunton). The Teichberg’s have owned their hotel for years now, and it has fallen into disrepair—Sonya barks at the customers and rations...