I read Cormac McCarthy's novel a few years ago & figured it would be made into a movie this was when "No Country for Old Men" was playing but I wondered how they could make this extremely grim tale into something that people would want to see.This film was every bit as grim as the novel and it seemed to be a faithful adaptation of it. The characters seemed more believable in the film than in the novel. This is probably due to the medium but Viggio Mortenson did a fabulous job as the Protagonist the unnamed father and his son was also great. They both were tremendous and <more>
brought a lot of character development and engagement to an otherwise totally bleak story.I loved Robert Duvall's turn as the grizzled survivor. It was a supporting role sure to win an Oscar nomination. I think this will win more than its share of Oscar nominations, for Viggio at the very least.Great film, go check it out.
Never losing hope even in a post-apocalyptic environment! (by janyeap)
Adapted from Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize novel of the same title, John Hillcoat's film is as much a virtually grabbing masterpiece as McCarthy's elegantly worded and sensuous masterpiece that transcends, at oft times, into prose and repetitions. Like in the beginning of McCarthy's novel, the viewers are plunged into the film's dark and ash-filtered environment in which the story's unnamed protagonist is witnessed as protecting his son. Indeed. he is taking charge to get himself and his eleven-year old son out of the grim, barren, non-redeeming, silent and godless <more>
world. Examine the bleak post-apocalyptic topography that could very possibly be the resulting impact from disasters of nuclear wars or from global warming! Indeed, with everything they can salvage onto a grocery cart or into their knapsacks, they must hit the empty road ahead to find a safe place. And thus begins our gradual discovery of how the man and his son hold on to their souls, knowing nothing is guaranteed as apocalypse impacts the world. Can our protagonist keep up his hope and optimism when the worst of humanity does take over the souls of desperate survivors? Ha, will there be a possibility of civilization? In an apocalyptic world, we can expect humans to sacrifice their humanity as their price of survival.This is an apocalypse thriller that's so phenomenally dark, and yet the persisting and unconditional love and bond, between the film's protagonist and his son, never cease to deliver the whispers of hope throughout their journey. It is their untarnished strengths, despite the appalling challenges, that are so terrific to behold. Indeed, Director Hillgoat has captured a beautiful father-son love story and their rise above the grim imaginings. Indeed, he has wonderfully delivered his lively characterizations of both as their humanly earnest defense against everything that could go wrong. I was truly awed by what I observed.Mortensen is incredibly wonderful to follow. Watch out for that very precious moment when the son first felt his connection to his father! I'm indeed grateful to see Charize Theron's character being given more depth and weight in the film version. Oh yes, one of the most memorable scenes revolve around Robert Duvall's Old Man, and in a very meaningful way as well. The Boy connects with humanism, yet we see his father as being too afraid to really let his son get his way. Yet, it's the point in which the trainee becomes the trainer; the pupil becomes the teacher! And it's the first time we see both father and son in disagreement. And their encounter with Michael K. Williams' Thief doesn't help to cool down their temperament either. Spanish Cinematographer, Javier Aguirresarobe has delivered apocalyptic landscape and atmosphere in amazing forms that are totally mesmerizing. Observe how nature can no longer provide refuge to prevent human destruction, and scavengers hunt for food, including human flesh! And when Guy Pearce as the Veteran and Molly Parker's character as his wife appear in the scenes, it's debatable if the Boy has found 'the good guys' and whether they would be 'carrying the fire'!Indeed, Director Hillcoat has terrifically captured the love story between parent and child, leaving the audience with increasing hope and optimism. Yep, the parent-child interactions emancipate an incredibly enormous and redeeming appeal... even when things get worse and far from being better. "We are not gonna quit. We are gonna survive this," the Man had said to the Boy at the most dreaded moment in the film. The Man in the story, indeed, is perpetually faced with his last chance of parenting, teaching, training and preparing his son for the worst scenario to come, in a world, so deprived of life, hope and optimism. And it's truly interesting to observe the Boy's extraordinary and constant inner battle between his mortal fear and his basic goodness. The father understands that the Boy is his warrant, and that 'if he's not the word of God, God never spoke.' Yep, the film's plot and sub-plots stay pretty faithful to McCarthy's novel. And I love Hilcot's changed version of the Man's wife, fabulously performed by Chalize Theron. And his treatment to the ultimate decision made by Charlize Theron's character gets my high approval over the troubling and traumatic decision she took in the book. Yes, indeed, Charlize Theron's character realizes the lack of food supplies as well as the existence of only two bullets left for the family of three, and like any good mother, she makes the toughest choice in leaving her husband and child to fend for one another's survival. And that brings me to think of the idiom: Two's a company; three's a crowd! However, Hillcoat did admit at the Q&A session, I attend, that the changed treatment was a hell of a decision for him to make. Having read the book, I'm happy for the change. Also, I love this film's flashbacks of the good memories shared by the Man and his wife. The Director did mention that the love story, between father and son, should also take consideration of the mother's influences, and that good things tend to be taken too much for granted. The persistence of love between a father and a son against the ugly backdrop of the world is so magnificently portrayed by Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee. I would be frankly disappointed if Mortensen doesn't garner an Oscar nomination for his role in this film. Definitely, this is a powerful and remarkably crafted film not to be missed by the indie-film buffs looking for a great state-of-the art film with enough metaphors, symbols, and references to decipher!
A heartbreaking journey of a father and son desperate to survive in the harshest post-apocalyptic world ever imagined! Viggo Mortensen and 12 year old Kodi Smit-McPhee where do the Australians get all of these great young actors? both deserve Oscar nods, IMO. In fact, I'd also give an Oscar nod to Robert Duvall for his brief but powerful performance as 'the old man'. The cinematography is outstanding and the environment that they created is devastatingly realistic.This is an important film that deserves to be nominated for Best Picture of the year. If this film doesn't <more>
inspire both politicians and citizens to do whatever is necessary to protect our planet's precious environment in order to enhance human survival and the rest of the species on our world-- then I just don't know what will!Marcel F. Williams
"You must think I'm from another world." (by Quinoa1984)
The wonderful thing about the Road is that it will more than likely please the two camps: the one that has not read Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer prize-winning book, and the one that has. There's the nervous feeling one gets when watching the theatrical trailer, though - will it be this super action-packed spectacle, will those images that open the trailer with "THE END OF THE WORLD IS NEAR!" stick around, and will Charlize Theron actually be in the movie that much? As it turns out, if you liked the book very much and worried about how its uber-bleak and incredibly dark and <more>
especially gray landscapes would appear, it provides that perfectly. And if you haven't read the book... it still works as a movie, as a simple-but-not story of a father and son survival drama- and clinging on to their humanity- first, and then a post-apocalypse thriller far second.To describe the plot is not impossible but sort of unnecessary. All you need to know going in if you're part of not-read-book camp is that a father and son, after becoming on their own after the mother of the house exits, are traveling together across a true post-apocalypse landscape to a coast. We never are given a fully clear explanation as to why or how the apocalypse happened. This is more than fine; because John Hillcoat's film centers on the father and son called in the credits simply Father and Son, played by Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee , there doesn't need to be anything really specific. At least this will be fine for most people who may be by now tired of the usual viral or religious or damn 2012-type explanations. We're given hints though, to be sure, that there may have been mutations or some kind of earth-bound phenomenon earthquakes happen a couple of times , and past this we, like the travelers, are left to our own devices.How it happened isn't as fascinating and visually compelling, anyway, than how it looks. The Road provides us many scenes and vistas that are precisely grim and desolate and terrible. Some of these are full of visual details like big city-scape shots, and others, like when the Father and Son are on the ramp of a highway, is intimate and hard this setting also provides one of the most touching moments as Mortensen's character finally 'lets go' of two important details from the deceased mother of his son . And other times Hillcoat lets us just take in the gray-ness of everything, just as one could take in the sight of masses of flies in his film the Proposition. It's against this backdrop of rain and sludge and grime and decay that imbues this intense bond between the father and son so greatly, and the complexity that comes with not just staying alive but retaining humanity and dignity and doing right and wrong by the people they encounter.This may not be news to people who read the book. I still, having read it two years ago which sadly seems like long ago in usually remembering specific images of a book , can't get the descriptions of scenes out of my head, or the stark manner of how characters talked and dread and existential horror was relayed. But, again, the film not only respects this but gives it further life. Dialog scenes in the movie- save for a couple of the flashback scenes with Charlize Theron's Mother character- are never obtrusive to the storytelling, which is a rightful concern to have with an adaptation of the book. And, more importantly, the acting and chemistry between the two leads is incredible. Mortensen is a given to be an actor embedded in his character, so much so that when he takes off his shirt we see his bony torso as being really that, and watching him is magnetic. Yet it's also crucial to see how good the kid Smit-McPhee is too, especially when it comes time for scenes where the boy has to deal with his father's growing desperation or the electrifying showdown with a thief.To be sure, a couple of walk-on roles by Guy Pearce as another fellow traveler and especially Robert Duvall as a "90 year old man" as his character says provide some needed space, and Hillcoat has a couple of very wise flashback/dream bits with The Man and his wife namely a very small, brilliant moment at a piano , but it's the all on the two main character to lead the film, and it's on them that it delivers so strongly. As long as you know that this is a film centered not on big action sequences though there are a couple , and not on big special effects though there's that too , and it's more akin to a life-or-death-and-what-else story not unlike Grave of the Fireflies, you'll know what you're getting with the Road. It is very depressing on the whole, and not exactly what I would recommend as a 'first-date' movie - unless you're so hot for Mortensen and/or Cormac McCarthy you don't care either way. However, it's *good* depressing, and equally the best adaptation of the book possible while a tremendous, original vision for the casual movie-goer.
A Miserable Journey Displayed Beautifully (by winston9109)
With a surplus of post-apocalyptic/disaster flicks present in today's film circle, the Road does what very few films in any genre seem capable of doing. Here is a picture that in it's own discreteness captures the realism of a holocaust horror, combining the absolute worst possible future with the most profoundly beautiful human characteristics that keep the main characters persevering. Not only does the story accurately exhibit the polar opposite aspects of a post apocalyptic existence, but the cinematography used during the flashbacks of a life full of color and hope many take for <more>
granted, is excellently positioned with the dark, dismal, and often terrifying reality that is the Road. The score was also fantastic and perfectly appropriate for the film.The only two, minor issues I had were the sound editing, MINOR! and the ending which was NOT at all a disappointment, but I felt it was quite open, without giving anything away. This is, again, a minor issue, for the story in itself was a journey, and we see only a small portion of the great, tragic, and ultimately fulfilling struggle.And, though I'm sure no more attention is necessary, the acting as a whole was phenomenal. Each film since LOTR Viggo has greatly improved and I'd like to think of this as the beginning of his finest hour. Very few performances touch me emotionally, and his was certainly one of them, in three scenes in particular which were, being discrete, the parting flashback, the dinner, and the climax. Well done, the Road, thank you Mr. Mortenson.
I just got home from seeing "The Road" and my stomach is still in a knot. I never read the book and therefore won't be making any comparisons. I'll simply comment on the film. I can't imagine the performances being any better from any of the actors, starting at Viggo and working my way down to the smallest roles. I can't imagine the bleak post-apocalyptic world being portrayed any more realistically. I can't imagine the general feeling of sadness, desperation, hopelessness, terror and pain being captured more accurately. If that was the goal, the people involved <more>
in the making of this movie did their job magnificently. Having said that, it isn't for everyone. I saw this movie alone because I had a feeling my wife wouldn't be into it. It's tough to watch. However, in the midst of this recession brought on by greed and materialism, I think it's a movie that everyone of age SHOULD see in order to put things back into perspective, if only for a day. I had a lump in my throat through most of the movie and was desperate to get home and hug my two boys through most of it as well. I also felt like downsizing our entire life in terms of the unnecessary "stuff" we have. I imagined how many homeless people wander the streets right now with that feeling of hopelessness and desperation. What more could I ask from a Saturday afternoon at the theater? It's this kind of movie that helps maintain a degree of integrity in the film industry among the inaneness that surrounds it.
While watching this movie I thought to myself that it was good I had already read the book. This was because the movie is agonizingly desperate and sad--often times it was just too much to absorb or handle in such a large dose. You can't put this movie down like you can with the book. Unlike the book being beautifully written, in an almost poetic prose, which distracted the reader from the subject, the movie is not beautifully shot. In your face is desperation, agony, and death.I can understand why this movie was shelved for a year. Do not go into it looking to be entertained, at best <more>
look to be intellectually stimulated. This is no popcorn movie.
"It's not as good as the book." seems to be one of the most common sentences in discussions about movies. I have certainly uttered it many times. I try to judge a film on it's own merits as a separate art form, but cannot help the comparison, especially when elements that I love in a book are sacrificed in the translation to the screen especially if I felt the changes were made in service of some 2 hour "time limit" . I can only remember one time that I thought a movie improved on a book The Godfather and the Godfather Part 2. There are certainly many times I <more>
felt that a mediocre book served as the basis for a mediocre movie The DaVinci Code . Cormac McCarthy's works have generally translated well to the screen, especially No Country for Old Men. The Road was one of the most wonderful books that I can remember - to create a sense of hope against an overwhelmingly dismal post-apocalyptic backdrop is no small feat. As I read it I found myself sympathizing with the fears and frustrations for the man and, at the same time, completely drawn into the innocence and wisdom of the boy. I could not put the book down - I had to know the ending of this story.As I sat watching the movie, I was right back in the book. John Hillcoat and Joe Penhall's collaboration made for a marvelous adaptation of this compelling story. Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee were outstanding. The film editing and art direction in this picture really contribute to the overall post-apocalyptic feel. The use of color in the otherwise gray backdrop was pure film-making genius. I was dragged to the height and depths of emotions and felt every anguish and small triumph experienced by the on-screen duo. In the end, I experienced both the triumph and the uncertainty of the human condition. And felt that I had seen a movie that was as good as the book.
So Well Done I Wanted To Kill Myself (by RichardSRussell-1)
The Road 1:50, R — Science Fiction, 3rd string, originalAmong the first words spoken in The Road adapted from Cormac McCarthy's novel are "It's just another earthquake.". That's supposed to be reassuring.It's a bleak, devastated, post-apocalyptic world leached of everything: color, sounds, names, sunshine, warmth, joy, hope. Thru it trudge The Man Viggo Mortenson and The Boy Kodi Smit-McPhee , slowly and painfully making their way to "the coast", where maybe things will be marginally better. Who can say? But what else is there?Along the way they <more>
encounter The Gang Member Garret Dillahunt, still as creepy and frightening as he was in The Sarah Connor Chronicles and The Last House on the Left , The Road Gang Leader Brenna Roth , The Old Man Robert Duvall , The Thief Michael K. Williams , and The Veteran Guy Pearce and his woman Molly Parker . In flashbacks to an achingly lost former life, we see The Wife Charlize Theron .And really, once you've named the names, you've pretty well covered the movie. The name of the game is Survival, tho none can say what the point of it is. The food is gone, and clearly no more will be growing. Humans are apparently the only animals to survive the unnamed global disaster, so they represent the sole remaining, rapidly dwindling source of protein. The voices you hear approaching are not the Red Cross.Some choose not to play. The Wife, after some low-energy soul-searching, goes the ancient-Eskimo route. "She was gone," The Man remembers, "and the coldness of it was her final gift."Others persevere for no cogent reason. "DId you ever wish you would die?", The Man asks. "No," The Old Man replies, "it's foolish to ask for luxuries in times like these."The Man and The Boy have 1 gun with 2 bullets left; they are not being reserved for potential assailants. In some of the movie's most agonizing scenes, we see The Man explain not only what must be done but why.I walked into this movie 10 hours after leaving the theater where Avatar splashed the screen with color, motion, activity, purpose, a 3rd dimension, and a superb sound track. It is difficult to imagine 2 more disparate films in terms of tone and atmosphere. But both are extremely effective at making their respective worlds seem completely real.The movie is unremittingly grim and completely believable. It doesn't pull its punches or sell out. It will haunt you. It's unlikely that anyone else will ever make another movie that treats the end of the world so realistically, so if you want to see the standard against which all others will be compared, this is your chance.Stay away if you're depressed or prone to it, and avoid razor blades for 12 hours afterward.