OLD JOY — THE CRITERION COLLECTION
Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.
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Intended as a generational-throwback deliberation on hippy male friendship, Kelly Reichardt's self-important movie fails to even scratch the surface of the subject that it pretends to intimately know.
Minimalism is one thing; incompetence is quite another.
Childhood friends Mark (Daniel London) and Kurt (Will Oldham) renew their connection after years of separation on a weekend retreat to Oregon’s Cascade Mountains where they bathe in a natural hot springs and smoke pot.
The film's ostensible, albeit muted, motivation is an obvious excuse for a gay assignation waiting to happen.
Kurt makes a sexual overture that Mark may or may not respond to before the inarticulate duo make their way home for Mark to reunite with his wife, and for Kurt to return to his unruly vagabond lifestyle.
Annoying, blank, and bereft of any narrative arc "Old Joy" has nothing familiar, enchanting, or even erotic to recommend it.
Overwrought for nothing.
Not Rated, 76 mins.