Movie Review: Old Goats

It was with some degree of reluctance that my mother coaxed me into leaving my comfortable home on a cool, rainy June-uary weeknight to watch the Seattle International Film Festival premiere of Old Goats last night, but it was hard to pass-up the offer since one of her friends was in it, and in the end I was glad I went.

Filmed locally on Bainbridge Island by Taylor Guterson, Old Goats is an entertaining flick about three men in semi-fictitious roles about their lives as senior citizens in a small town. The three men are depicted in different stages of their senior lives, Dave (played by David Vander Wal) is fresh into his retirement, Britt (played by Britton Crosley) has been retired longer, and Bob (played by Bob Burkholder, author of Skirting the Edge) has been living his retired life for so long he’s become a pro at making a new life for himself. The movie is quite entertaining for the most part and filled with many humorous moments, as well as a few that cause reflection. If all else fails, you find yourself watching because you’re just certain that at least one of the actors is going to die at any moment. Despite lacking the polish a bigger film, Old Goats is good entertainment, which is actually quite a feat because it was filmed with people lacking any training in acting, and Guterson pulls it together through good camera angles, direction and editing, but don’t even let his hand on the work fool you, these people actually do quite well on their own.  Admittedly it could stand with a little tightening-up of the first 30 minutes or so because there was a little too much build-up, and some of the humor about senior life seemed a little over-the-top, reminding me of the TV show Golden Girls, a production that often spent too much time making fun of senior living.  Aside from it’s rough edges, Old Goats is a must-see, for it’s not often you get to see an entertaining movie produced a shoestring budget that Guterson approximates at about $5,000 (minus the equipment he already owned).  Old Goats is a gem awaiting the discovery of the adventurous movie-goer.

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