One of the major talking points surrounding Old Joy is that it is, oddly, just 76 minutes long — which, of course, makes it automatically less painful than just about any other movie you might see this year.
It was critically adored on the film festival circuit, particularly at Sundance. It co-stars an indie-music god (Will Oldham) and also has a score by a squad of them (Yo La Tengo).
And the ultra-minimalist story — two old friends, Mark (Daniel London) and Kurt (Oldham), go on a camping trip outside Portland, Oregon — zips by so quickly that you’re initially left wondering, What just happened?, just as the film’s quietly moving subtext (about growing up and growing apart) starts to kick in.
There’s a Sideways aspect happening here, and because of the pastoral Western stillness, Brokeback Mountain (minus the gay stuff) comes to mind, too.
But with its pitch-perfect melancholy, Old Joy burrows deep quicker and more universally than either of those films. In — did we mention? — 76 minutes.
“>VIEW the trailer for “Old Joy”
“>CHECK opening dates (rolling release in 33 cities through September, October, and November; New York premiere, September 20)
This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here.