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Universal acclaim - based on 32 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 37 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Neil Young: Heart of Gold is filmmaker Jonathan Demme's intimate musical portrait of legendary singer/songwriter Neil Young, filmed on the occasion of the world premiere of Young's "Prairie Wind" concert at Nashville's hallowed Ryman Auditorium. (Paramount Classics)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    100
    The concert film has never looked or sounded classier than Jonathan Demme's superbly crafted Neil Young: Heart of Gold.
  2. 100
    Heart of Gold feels like an ample slice of the real America, the one truly worth caring for. And it's such a rare thing in this benighted age that the simple clarity with which it's presented feels like nothing less than a miracle.
  3. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    90
    Demme is in such perfect sync with Young's music that even the painted prairie backdrop (and the painted farmhouse interior screen, complete with hearth, that slides in front of it) only makes you roll your eyes in retrospect.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    That film remains an electrifying testament to pop music as a communal creative act.
  5. 80
    One might call Neil Young: Heart of Gold soothing, even becalmed, but mellowness and ripeness, when they exist at this high level of craft, should have their season, too.
  6. 80
    Given what Young charges for concert tickets, all his organs could be gold. So I was even more grateful for this documentary of his August 2005 shows at the fabled Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, expertly directed by Jonathan Demme.
  7. 50
    A schmaltzy filmed record of a Nashville concert given by the legendary former rocker, who has morphed into the new Kenny Rogers.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. ClaireY.
    Feb 16, 2006
    10
    Gave me chills it was so good. I had never heard Neil Young before and this film made me want to run out and buy his album. Demme is truly a genius.
  2. LaurieH.
    Feb 10, 2006
    10
    Beautifully directed film, showing the audience the most intimate details of the musicians' interactions against awesome shadows and Beautifully directed film, showing the audience the most intimate details of the musicians' interactions against awesome shadows and lighting. It's like being AT the Ryman...right up in the front row. The sound is unbelievable and the music...well, if you're a Neil fan, you'll simply wished he just played more. Collapse
  3. SambistagirlH.
    Feb 15, 2007
    10
    This was a wonderful concert movie. I went to see it because I love Neil Young, but came out loving country music.
  4. JeffS.
    Feb 20, 2006
    10
    My wife and my kids went with me to see this. Our group was age 11 up to mid 40's. We all loved it. Even my 11 year-old daughter had an My wife and my kids went with me to see this. Our group was age 11 up to mid 40's. We all loved it. Even my 11 year-old daughter had an interpretation for some of the songs. This movie does not rely on props or special effects. IT DOES rely on the talent of so many great musicians, beautiful lighting and camera work, a theatre rich in history, and a love for the music. This performance will give every viewer a chance to reflect and get lost in his or her own emotions. Definitely worth the price of admission. Expand
  5. GailK.
    Aug 5, 2006
    10
    Back when I was in college, Neil Young was right up there with Bob Dylan, for me and my friends. For many years since, I've not followed Back when I was in college, Neil Young was right up there with Bob Dylan, for me and my friends. For many years since, I've not followed his career until seeing this extraordinary film. I felt like I had been simultaneously snapped into 1970, but yet rooted in the here and now. Neil Young is a treasure, and this film will be an indelible example of just how valuable he is. Expand
  6. RogerW.
    Aug 13, 2006
    10
    I've been a Neil Young fan since his Buffalo Springfield days and I suppose I must have every album he has ever made or been part of. I I've been a Neil Young fan since his Buffalo Springfield days and I suppose I must have every album he has ever made or been part of. I bought Prarie WInd about six months ago and it reminded me of Harvest and Harvest Moon only I thought it bette. I bought the DVD being already familiar with the CD and, honestly, I never expected to be surprised by the picture. The picture is a notch above the CD on many levels and in my opinion it perfectly captures the themes of the CD. I suppose some might call the picture overly romantic even schmaltzy. Sadly, there are many cynical people in the world. Whether the picture is as authentic as the director would have us believe is I think rather besides the point. I was not at the Ryman and cannot judge that point; what I can do is watch this picture and attempt to understand what Demme and Young hoped and wanted their live audience to experience...the romance of North American life. I came away from the picture with an even greater appreciation of Neil Young as a performer, musician, and lyricist: The man only gets better with time. Expand
  7. GeorgeR.
    Feb 22, 2006
    7
    outstanding superlative performances - some of the best ever. ellen kuras, the cinematographer, has indeed invented new colors for the outstanding superlative performances - some of the best ever. ellen kuras, the cinematographer, has indeed invented new colors for the medium, but this is only a great document - not a great movie. just the same, as the curtain parted at the ryman and the first strains of prairie wind's "the painter" began, my chest heaved and i only barely suppressed a giant sob. the idea that someday we might live in a world without neil young is almost too much to bare. as a movie it sustains itself on that loose conceit. Expand

See all 14 User Reviews

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