Movie Mom

Movie Mom


The Way

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, drug use, and smoking
Profanity:Mild language
Nudity/Sex:Some mild potty humor
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking and drunkenness, a lot of smoking, drug use
Violence/Scariness:Sad off-screen death, some scuffles
Diversity Issues:None
Movie Release Date:October 7, 2011
DVD Release Date:February 21, 2012

In honor of this DVD Pick of the Week, I have three copies to give away.  Send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with “The Way” in the subject line and tell me your favorite Martin Sheen movie.  Don’t forget your address!  US addresses only.

A story about a father and is son comes to us from a father and his son.  Emilio Estavez wrote and directed his father Martin Sheen in a touching and uplifting movie about a doctor who completes the pilgrimage he told his estranged son not to make after the son is killed in a storm.

Sheen plays Tom, an affluent ophthalmologist living in Las Angeles, playing golf with his friends and worried about his son Daniel (Estavez).  In his late 30’s, Daniel has dropped out of his PhD program to roam the world.  Tom gets a call from a French policeman telling him that Daniel is dead.  He flies to France, identifies the body, and then impulsively decides to finish what Daniel had started, to walk the Way of St. James from  St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela, 780 km/484 miles as pilgrims have done since the middle ages.  He will bring Daniel along with him, leaving his ashes along the path so that he can complete his journey.

YouTube Preview Image

Tom has no interest in the other pilgrims or in sharing with anyone what he is doing.  But there is no way to avoid the people who are walking along the same road and staying at the same inns and soon he finds himself sharing the journey with an affable Dutchman named Joost (Yorick van Wageningen), a bitter Canadian named Sarah (Deborah Kara Unger), and a frantic Irish writer named Jack (James Nesbitt).  People on The Way tend to leave their last names behind.  Everyone is just a first name and a nationality — and everyone but Tom gives a reason for being there.  Joost wants to lose weight before his brother’s wedding.  Sarah wants to quit smoking, but only after she completes the pilgrimage.  Jack is there to write a book about it and his editor is impatient.  But pilgrims are not always honest with themselves or each other and part of what they will learn on the road is what they are really doing there.

At times it has the feel of a television movie but the scenery is spectacular and benefits from the big screen and Estavez as writer and director has a good sense of timing and a gift for cinematic storytelling.  It is funny and heartfelt and inspiring and it will make you think more deeply about your own journey.

 

Parents should know that this film concerns the sad death of an adult child and grief of his father, drinking and drunkenness, constant smoking, drug use (involving a character from the Netherlands, where marijuana is legal), and some potty humor.

Family discussion: What was the significance of Tom’s being an eye doctor?  Did the pilgrims find what they were looking for?  How do you know?

If you like this, try:  “Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles,” a brilliant and deeply moving Chinese film about a father who completes his late son’s journey.



Previous Posts

Wild's Cheryl Strayed Has a New Advice Podcast
Before Wild, Cheryl Strayed was the pseudonymous "Dear Sugar" advice columnist for The Rumpus. Her columns were collected in Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar. Writer Steve Almond (Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America) also wrote as Dear Su

posted 3:59:40pm Dec. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Actors Of Color Discuss Racial Stereotypes In Hollywood
Film Courage produced this excellent and very compelling film with actors of color talking about the challenges they face in Hollywood. If we did a better job of representing diversity in film, we would not just tell better stories and tell stories better, we would make better progress toward under

posted 8:00:49am Dec. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Annie
The story of the plucky little Depression-era orphan with the curly red hair has been not just re-booted but re-imagined into the world of rent-a-bikes, viral videos, DNA tests, YOLO, corpora

posted 5:59:13pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Fans of the first two "Night at the Museum" films will like this one because it is pretty much the same film. They go to another museum, this time the British Museum in London, and the exhibi

posted 5:23:46pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Listen to People's Lives: David Plotz's Working Podcast
Former Slate editor David Plotz, now at Atlas Obscura, says that he is a big fan of Studs Terkel's classic book Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do. He has paid tribute to that great work in the best possible way, by updating it with his podcast seri

posted 3:59:23pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.