Old Joy
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Old Joy is writer/director Kelly Reichardt's long-awaited follow-up to her revered but underseen 1994 feature debut, River of Grass. (She directed a couple of shorts in the interim, including Ode, a Super-8 film inspired by the song "Ode to Bill.") Daniel London and cult folksinger Will Oldham star in the film as two old friends who go on a camping trip to a hot springs in the Cascade mountain range of Oregon. London's Mark is the responsible one with the modest house, the wife (who resents his gallivanting off), the dog (who comes along), and the baby on the way. He listens… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Old Joy may be built around a road trip, but it's also a movie about two roads -- and two souls -- diverging."
‑ Steve Murray, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Such watchful reticence takes a bold, confident filmmaker."
‑ Jessica Winter, Time Out
"Old Joy is a weaker effort than Meek's Cutoff and Wendy and Lucy, sure, but still a key early step in the career of this impressive filmmaker."
‑ Glenn Dunks, Trespass
"With exquisite tenderness and delicacy, Old Joy fluidly captures the all-too-frequent occurrence of friends drifting apart as their lives branch off in different directions."
‑ Gabe Leibowitz, Film and Felt
"A subtle, elegant meditation on friendship and identity in a cultural moment where honest cultivation of either is treated like a luxury."
‑ Karina Longworth, Cinematical
"You may find yourself asking whether anything's going to happen. But for those who can tolerate a slow-brewing movie, [director] Reichardt's work provides sufficient rewards."
‑ Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News
"At just 76 minutes, Old Joy is a minimalist film, but illuminating, bittersweet, gentle and deeply alive."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Interesting, but hardly the lo-fi triumph its reputation suggests."
‑ Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm
"Annoying, blank, and bereft of any narrative arc "Old Joy" has nothing familiar or enchanting to recommend it."
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
"A minimalist stroll not worth taking...but if Old Joy doesn't do much, at least it doesn't do it for very long."
‑ Frank Swietek, One Guy's Opinion
"Subdued, artistic, with beautifully nuanced performances that are as true as they are often elusive of commercial triumph."
‑ Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post
"The characters stayed with me, and I'm glad I took a second look now that it's opening for a two-week run at Northwest Film Forum. This time around, its sense of humor seemed much more effective -- as did its less-is-more style."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"There are no big revelatory moments. There's no cliched conflict. But don't make the mistake of then assuming that Old Joy has no drama."
‑ Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic.com
"The film is like a haiku that one can only interpret through their own experience."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Reichardt's low-budget feature, shot in one weekend with a skeleton crew, quietly observes both men and passes judgment on neither. It's a minimalist masterpiece."
‑ Robert W. Butler, Kansas City Star
More reviews for Old Joy on Rotten Tomatoes

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