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Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Way Back

Directed by: Peter Weir
UK release: 24 December 2010
US release: 11 January 2011 (limited)
Starring: Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Colin Farrell, Mark Strong, Saoirse Ronan

IMDB page

She said:

I am not sure I was fully prepared for how epic this film was. And boy, was it epic in every sense of the word. You see James and I had originally intended to watch Burlesque but, due to the cinema being stupid, that film had been taken off a day early for some Russell Crowe film preview (The Next Three Days) . So we decided to see The Way Back, and despite being as far removed as possible from the glitz and glam of a musical I for one am really glad we saw it.

It is a talent to make a film such as this I think; a film that is so long, extreme and unforgiving without ever boring the audience. In fact this was exactly what the film needed to keep the audience gripped. There was very little music emphasising the vastness, the solitude and isolation of the group of fugitives. It's a cliche but I felt like I was on this journey with them - I even felt thirsty when they were in the desert!

My only real gripe with the film was that some parts were almost skipped over. Yes, I felt that a run time of 133 minutes was not enough. I guess it is testament to the pacing of the film that I didn't get board after the first 1000 miles. This would have made a really interesting television series, but then of course no one would take on a TV show with that big a budget... well maybe Fox, but they'd only cancel it at season 2.

Better than I was expecting and fantastically made (Oscar nomination perhaps) but not the sort of film I'd watch over and over. I give this film {{{4 out of 5}}}

He said
Every once in a while a film takes me completely by surprise. Helen and I have seen nearly two hundred films in the past year and a half and I can count on one hand how many completely took my breath away. I am happy to say that The Way Back is that type of film.

Director Peter Weir has been more or less absent from the public eye over the last seven years, Master and Commander was released nearly 8 years ago and the much better known Truman show was released five years before that. Weir has proven here that his ability to tell an epic story is as finely honed as ever.

While I do think that Weir deserves a Best Director Oscar nod at the very least I really don't feel that any of the actors stood out any more than their costars. The film is completely believable from start to finish but I can't think of any one moment where I thought Oscar performance. It is a compliment to all of the actors that I never struggled to believe their characters reality.

This is a film worth seeing in theatres as the setting and locations are as beautiful as they are epic, but as Helen has said above The Way Back is not a film that invokes an impulse to watch it again any time soon. I give this film {{{4 out of 5}}}

They said:
We both secretly hope that there will be an extended version released when this film hits DVD as there are a few portions that seem to be completely missing from the theatrical version. This is a wonderful and epic film about the journey of seven men that chose to risk dying free instead of living as prisoners. We give it [[[8 out of 10]]]


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