Taking Woodstock

Rated 2.0

The moldy nostalgia-fest Taking Woodstock arrives with the warning label “inspired by a true story,” which typically translates as “any relation to the truth is purely coincidental.” It’s based on the biography of Elliott Teichberg, a young Chamber of Commerce head from upstate New York whose role in securing the permits and land for the Woodstock festival changed his life forever. Demetri Martin plays Elliott, and he’s pleasant enough without making any real impact. Still, that’s more than you can say for the rest of the cast, who are instructed by Lee and screenwriter James Schamus to play caricatures instead of characters (Imelda Staunton and Emile Hirsch, both very talented actors, are the worst offenders). Ang Lee has made bad movies before (Hulk, Ride With the Devil), but he’s above this sort of cheap, boomer sitcom.