Old Joy is a beautiful film, visually. However, it lacks essential character development and substantial storytelling. The final cut came out quite short, and lacked a lot of the material needed to make it meaningful. It felt like it was the foundation for what could potentially have been a good film. The best part of the film was that there were decent visuals, but not interesting enough keep an audience's interest.
Old Joy captures what time can do to a relationship. Two men go into the forest in search of themselves as their once fruitful relationship has now debilitated into next to nothing. They search for a spring, and get lost along the way. Unlike other titles with similar synopsis', these men, find nothing. They leave the forest with nothing less and nothing more than what with they came, but the journey is the ride.
A sentry of the American Northwest, writer/director Kelly Reichardt idolizes its forested mountains in this outing for two reunited friends. The men have have taken different paths in life, but meet back at the crossroads to share a slice of natural comforts. I found OLD JOY to be one of the most relaxing viewings I've ever had and it's largely due to Yo La Tengo's wanderlust score.
An old friendship that includes changed over the years people and we observe them with bitterness of our own souls because we all have been there, when familiar faces are so unbearably strange at the same time. Still, there is a lot of mystery and secrets that are hidden from eyes of the viewer but it's hard to stop thinking of them. Very modest in dialogues, focused on human condition and raw nature.
I know these places, I know these people, I know these feelings. The less-is-more aesthetic is flecked with subtle but suggestive dialogue, and the melancholy soundtrack from Yo La Tengo perfectly accents the winding Oregon backroads. I appreciated that director Kelly Reichardt doesn't seem to pass judgment on either character as we observe their lives and memories together.
Reichardt shows an intrinsic understanding of the culture and ambiance of Oregon culture. Not simply indulging in the hipster chic stereotypes that have become common place. Instead she highlights quiet and fundamental truths about the region that are often overlooked. The focus on the landscape only furthers all of these messages as she delivers them. I very strong, concise film to highlight the Northwest.
Sleepy and enigmatic. We're driven from responsibility into relaxation as the mountain winds blow and the calm springs wash away our troubles deeper into the mountains and we lose them through winding trails. Inevitably, they find their way back to us as we give up this momentary joy we've rekindled to return back to the sorrow of the real world. The trash and the trees interweve in varying ratios.