OLD JOY (Kelly Reichardt). 76 minutes. Opens Friday (November 24) at the Bloor Cinema. For times, see Indie & Rep Film, page 104. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Old Joy is a tiny film that calls to mind the pre-Sex, Lies And Videotape era of American independent cinema and Sundance before it became a studio-media clusterfuck.
Two old college friends, one married and expecting his first child ( Daniel London ) and one who's lived his adulthood as an exploration ( Will Oldham ), get together for a weekend of camping in the Oregon rainforest and spend the film's short running time in conversation. That's the whole story.
If the only thing on your current to- see list is the new James Bond, this is probably not for you. If you have a broader taste for movies that don't have explosions, it's very appealing.
Director Kelly Reichardt , who started out doing props and costumes on Todd Haynes's Poison, gets performances from her principals that remind us just how much acting talent is available to American filmmakers. London and Oldham (aka Bonnie Prince Billy, the well-known American singer-songwriter) have a pile of small credits, but neither's ever had a role this big.
It's a film about people talking. The talk is good and the atmosphere amiable, creating a relaxing evening at the movies.