Neil Young: Heart of Gold

Rated NR 103 minutes 2006

The concept couldn't be more simple: Get Neil Young and some pals on a Nashville stage to play all of his Harvesty new album Prairie Wind and some classic-rock standards, then stand out of the way and film the whole blessed thing. Jonathan Demme, director of the immortal Talking Heads concert doc Stop Making Sense, keeps it simple this time around; it would have been hard to fuck this up, and no Demme or dummy could manage any such thing. The skeptic walked into the screening doubting the first half of the film would hold up; Prairie Wind is good Neil, not great Neil. Yet it works, because it plays like a low-key Last Waltz, with a string section and gospel choir and backup singers parading on and off stage to keep things moving (and moving, especially "Fallin' off the Face of the Earth," with Neil's wife as one of the background muses). Even the treacle ("God Made Me") soars, as do the standards you thought you were sick of hearing.

Film Credits

Director: Johnathan Demme

Producer: Jonathan Demme and Ilona Herzberg

Cast: Neil Young, Emmylou Harris, Ben Keith, Spooner Oldham, Rick Rosas, Karl Himmel, Chad Cromwell and Wayne Jackson

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Neil Young: Heart of Gold

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