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Movie Review: Neil Young: Heart of Gold

Alternate Title: Young at Heart

Story: Concert films come in many forms and director Jonathan Demme has elevated the level of this genre to art. His focus this time is aging hipster, Neil Young. It was filmed over two nights in Nashville at the Ryman Auditorium in August of 2005. It is a sweet meditation on Young's career, family and his own mortality. (He had recently learned that he had an operable brain aneurysm).

The music is grand, the audience respectful and the direction superb. If you are a Neil Young fan, this concert film is for you. If you don't know who Neil Young is, you can check out this film and become a fan.

Acting: It is a concert film, so there is no acting. The on-stage gang includes, Neil Young, Emmylou Harris, Ben Keith, Spooner Oldham, Rick Rosas, Karl T. Himmel, Chad Cromwell, Wayne Jackson, Pegi Young, Grant Boatwright, Diana DeWitt, Gary Pigg, Anthony Crawford, Tom McGinley, Jimmy Sharp, Clinton Gregory, Larry Cragg, Fisk University Jubilee Singers and The Nashville String Machine

Predilection: I like Jonathan Demme's work.

Soundtrack: The first part of the concert is Young's latest album, Prairie Wind and the last part includes his older more familiar songs.

Theater Audience: I was alone in the secret balcony of my local multiplex. I admit to singing my heart out and was glad there was no one else around me to hear me or be annoyed by my singing. There were many other aging hipsters downstairs enjoying this concert film as well.

Drift Factor: It was all too easy to drift during the more familiar tunes. Music evokes memories like nothing else for me.

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: The big screen is really the best way to see this film but I guess rental would be fine. For some of Jonathan Demme's other films try: The Manchurian Candidate, The Agronomist, The Truth About Charlie, Bruce Springsteen: The Complete Video Anthology 1978-2000, The Pretenders: Greatest Hits, Beloved, Philadelphia, Cousin Bobby, The Silence of the Lambs, Married to the Mob, Swimming to Cambodia, Something Wild, Stop Making Sense, Swing Shift and Melvin and Howard.

Length: 100 minutes