Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A movie review: The Road (2009)

The Road (2009)
Director - John Hillcoat
111 Min; R
Man - Viggo Mortensen
Boy - Kodi Smit-McPhee
Woman - Charlize Theron

Novelist Cormac McCarthy came into the mainstream when the film adaptation of his work No Country For Old Men won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2007, and now we are given another adaptation, this time of his work The Road, a story that centers on the relationship of a man and his boy in a post-apocalyptic world as they follow “the road” towards the ocean and look to avoid other survivors with ulterior motives, not the least of which is a cannibalistic appetite.

Director John Hillcoat was up against a lot when making this film, with perhaps the most daunting task being that of the portrayal of a world that is steeped in misery and covered in a sad and heavy dust. It would be nearly impossible for a film to capture the tone of the novel, and though it does a very good job, it never really moves past a film about a man and his boy trying to survive, unlike the novel which seemingly transcends this simple story and leaves a lasting impression you cannot forget.

Viggo Mortensen as the Man and Kodi Smit-McPhee as the Boy are both very good and the film is overall one I would recommend, though I do strongly suggest you read the novel first and then take a look at the film, since I am sure you will be much more pleased having the memories of the book in your head as you peruse this desolate world on screen.

**** out of 5

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