Taking Woodstock, the latest film from director Ang Lee and screenwriter James Schamus, opens tomorrow in wide release. GLAAD's Entertainment Media team screened the film and is pleased to report that Taking Woodstock follows in the LGBT-inclusive vein of Lee's previous work.
The film tells the real life story of Elliot Tiber (Demetri Martin), a key figure in organizing 1969's monumental Woodstock Festival. Elliot, who is gay, had been active in post-Stonewall riots in New York before returning to his parent's home Bethel, NY. Through a series of events, Tiber helps bring Woodstock to Bethel where he meets thousands of colorful characters.
Among these is Vilma (Liev Schreiber), a transgender woman who is an acquaintance of Elliot's ex-boyfriend and offers to work security. Though a few jokes are made, Vilma is not played for laughs and easily becomes one of the most likable characters in Taking Woodstock. Indeed, she develops a close friendship with Elliot's elderly Jewish father that is quite touching. Elliot also finds romance among the visitors in town for three days of peace and music.
Lee, the director of gay cinema classics such as The Wedding Banquet and Brokeback Mountain (for which he won an Academy Award), and Schamus, a GLAAD Media Award Special Honoree in 2008, have again delivered a film that does an excellent job of portraying LGBT stories. Be sure to check it out this weekend in a theater near you.