Old Goats [ USA (English), 2010, 94 minutes ]
Director: Taylor Guterson
Principal Cast: Britton Crosley, Bob Burkholder, David VanderWal, Benita Staadecker, Gail Shackel, Steve Stolee
See it: June 7, 10 at SIFF
Old Goats is a coming of age film about the lives of three retirees in a small town on the outskirts of Seattle. Bob, Britt, and David have lived completely different lives yet find that they all suffer from the same condition, retirement. David is newly retired and still trying to find his way while David’s wife is set on moving to Palm Springs. Bob, the eldest of the group, is an active socialite who sings with the church choir, heads up the Oatmeal Club, frequently visits his girlfriend, and is working on writing his memoir. Britt has lived alone on his small boat for nearly 30 years and has plans for a big sailing trip, but lacks the skill (and bravado) that would be necessary for such a trip. Jealous of Bob’s girlfriend, Britt decides to try and find a woman of his own. This leads to a variety of new experiences with cell phones, the internet, and dating – all the while taking instruction and advice from Bob and David. The three lead actors couple their personalities with the fictional aspects of the movie plot resulting in a very real and refreshing look into the lives old friends and retirement.
Overall Entertainment / Enjoyment: A
This was another favorite of mine from SIFF 2011; it felt like watching my grandma talk and socialize and engage in relationships and bawdy conversation. It was very entertaining, and I felt immediately drawn into the characters and their stories. While the movie’s plot stood squarely on its own, the real magic comes from watching the actors portray their real personalities on the screen.
Film Festivalness: A+
This is a true film festival film. It was filmed primarily by two people over the course of three months for a budget of approximately $5,000. This is the director’s first feature-length film. I hope this film finds a distribution channel and is able to be seen by many more people. The film deserves it.
Siff Provided Synopsis
From local writer-director Taylor Guterson, Old Goats is the often hilarious and always heartfelt story of three older men (local actors Bob Burkholder, David VanderWal, and Britton Crosley, each playing themselves) who refuse to go quietly into the night of retirement and old age. Cantankerous and set in their ways, each man must come to terms with the sunset years in his own unique fashion. Bob is in the process of writing a memoir about his life as a soldier, while David does what he can to evade the prying eyes of his wife. Meanwhile, Britton, the most active of the bunch, tries to find true love on the internet, his efforts resulting in one of the film’s funnier scenes. Shot in and around Seattle, Old Goats finds humor in the everyday foibles of retirement life, providing a refreshing perspective on the golden years through the eyes of three men who don’t feel (or act) anywhere close to as old as they look.
Provided Film Synopsis