Review : Woodstock or Bust (2019)

For the next review from FilmGeeky, we turn to the directorial debut by Leslie Bloom. Set in the summer of 1969, ‘Woodstock or Bust’ offers a charming idea that doesn’t quite deliver.

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Woodstock in 1969 was a cultural crescendo in the United States, a defining moment for counterculture crystallising ‘flower power’ and popular music at the time when the Vietnam war and the Nixon administration were crushing the hopes of youth.

‘Woodstock or Bust’ centres on 17 year old aspiring songwriters and best friends – Lorian (Willow Shields) and Meryl (Meg DeLacy) from Oregon – who set off on a road-trip to the Woodstock festival in their mustang convertible. The two, leave behind their mothers (who are lack support for their daughters musical dreams), their performances at local birthday parties, and family gatherings,

As with such cinematic road trips, the journey becomes a voyage of discovery and the girls encounter a number of people and situations along the way that speak to the era and it’s pressures, such as the feelings towards the Vietnam draft, sexual politics, and the emergence of acid in the United States.

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The film, does struggle with tone with the relatively light hearted film trying to deal with some moments that are actually quite dark. This combines with a general lack of character development, especially with those that the girls encounter. This said though, the obvious chemistry between the two stars offers a solid enough base through the film, and there are enjoyable moments.

In terms of other positives, music is a core part of the film with original songs through the film, but also a score that does create a sense of the era.

As an independent film, it is not without merits, and there are a lot of worse films out there.

Woodstock or Bust is now available on various digital platforms (DirecTV, inDemand, Amazon, iTunes, Vimeo on Demand, Vudu, FANDANGO, Hoopla, AT&T, FlixFling, Google Play, Sling/Dish)

4/10

 

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