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Saturday, January 09, 2010

I finally saw THE ROAD

And I didn't have to drive all the way to northern Virginia to catch it, either!

It's playing in Greensboro at the Grande in Friendly Center. A few days ago fellow blogger Steven Glaspie and I caught it. He hasn't read the book. I read Cormac McArthy's novel twice this past summer and ever since have been dying to see the film adaptation starring Viggo Mortensen as the Man and Kodi Smit-McPhee as the Boy.

What did I think?

Three days later and I'm still feeling haunted by this film. The Road stands out in my mind as the best movie that came out in 2009 (and the one most deserving all the Oscars it can possibly garner). As brutal and visceral and empathetic as the original book, The Road is ultimately a story about a father's unrelenting love for his child and having undying hope for tomorrow... even as one is in the midst of perishing. If you have read McArthy's No Country for Old Men or seen the movie of that book you will no doubt remember the theme of "carrying the fire". Well, in The Road McArthy expanded on that immensely and I'm pleased to note that it was also brought over into its own film.

I don't know whether to describe the cinematography in this movie as "beautiful" or "horrifying", but Javier Aguirresarobe and director John Hillcoat have certainly brought to stark life the post-apocalyptic wastes of The Road through America. Filmed in Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Oregon and Washington state, The Road is perhaps the most engaging and gripping glimpse of the day after yet committed to film. As in the book, we don't know what it was that caused the cataclysm. Was it man-made or natural disaster? It's not as much left to the viewer as it is that it simply isn't important to the story. The Man and his son are far too busy clinging to life and morality and their conservation of effort doesn't lend to exposition. I loved that about the book and I really appreciate that the filmmakers were well mindful of that.

I thought that The Road was one of the finest adaptations of a book that I've seen in much too long a time, and I'm looking forward to getting it on Blu-ray when it (probably) becomes available in a few months. But don't wait 'til then: check to see if The Road is playing in your area, and watch it during its theatrical run if you can.

Because a movie this good would have been well worth driving four hundred miles to see if I had to!


Lee Shelton said...

Nice review, Chris. I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Daniel de Gracia II said...

Awesome - I still haven't seen it yet. I was concerned they were going to have references to global warming in there ;)

Matt said...

Referencing global warming makes a movie bad?

Daniel de Gracia II said...

Yeah Matt, it is bad to have global warming references because it's anti-human propaganda and it keeps being shoved in our faces everywhere we look. The whole agenda behind carbon footprinting and anthropogenic global warming is to create an unfair balance of trade (dependencia relationship) between economically developed countries and lesser developed countries and to serve as a pretext for the erosion of national sovereignty and the implementation of global government.

If you actually stop to read what the scientists and policy makers who support the theory of anthropogenic global warming say, you'll notice that they advocate mandatory population control via China-style one child policies (social accommodation taxes for having more than 1 child) and gradual culling of up to 90% of the human population. They even claim that having dogs is bad for the environment.

So YES, mentioning global warming is bad.