Old Joy


Director Kelly Reichardt isn’t afraid to be quiet. She uses small details—a sparrow on a roof, a swarm of ants, the reflection of leaves in the water—to build up the warp and weft of Old Joy. In this deliberate manner, Reichardt reveals the story of old friends Mark (Daniel London) and Kurt (Will Oldham), who’ve reunited for an overnight camping trip in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains. A free spirit, Kurt smokes dope and uses words like “heavy” to describe life’s tragedies. Father-to-be Mark has fashioned a more constricted life for himself; any happy recklessness he ever possessed has been whittled down to listening to Air America. Each man uses what psychological tools he has to reconnect, but attempting a friendly intimacy has never felt so complicated—or so yearningly resonant.