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From Cormac McCarthy, author of “No Country For Old Men,” comes the highly anticipated big screen adaptation of the beloved, best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Road. Academy Award®-nominee Viggo Mortensen (Best Actor, Eastern Promises, 2007) leads an all-star cast featuring Academy Award® winners Charlize Theron (Best Actress, Monster, 2003) and Robert Duvall (Best Actor, Tender Mercies, 1983), Guy Pearce and young newcomer Kodi Smit-McPhee in this epic post-apocalyptic tale of the survival of a father (Mortensen) and his young son (Smit-McPhee) as they journey across a barren America that was destroyed by a mysterious cataclysm. A masterpiece adventure, The Road boldly imagines a future in which men are pushed to the worst and the best that they are capable of – a future in which a father and his son are sustained by love.
In many ways a close adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's grim novel, The Road dutifully plods through the basics of McCarthy's nightmarish post-apocalyptic landscape: a father (Viggo Mortensen) and his young son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) try to survive as they trek along through the sodden, sunless remnants of some awful disaster. Scrounging for food and huddling together to stay warm, they spend most of their time trying to avoid the cannibalistic marauders who roam the highways. The film strikingly demonstrates that McCarthy's book was almost entirely dependent on his extraordinary language for its literary life; the story, such as it is, is so skeletal and spare it doesn't translate well into movie terms. The Proposition director John Hillcoat brings his grungy physicality to the material, so in the matters of the damp clothes and starved bodies and cheerless forests, the movie rings true. But the longer it trudges on, the more it seems a thoroughly conventional conclusion is at the end of this dystopian tale. The Road has one notable selling point: the performance of Viggo Mortensen. In his character's fierce determination to live--but also the gentle sighs he lets forth when confronted with, say, his first sip of whisky in years--Mortensen is completely in the moment, and all too human in the post-human world. --Robert Horton
Stills from The Road (Click for larger image)
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Deleted and Extended Scenes
The Making of The Road
Theatrical Trailer #1
Theatrical Trailer #2
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I think it's great that the producers of the film sought out sympathetic scenes of destruction and desolation (Mt St Helens, etc)rather than resorting to computer graphics. This placed all of the cast under great pressure - particularly Viggo Mortensen, who is an indomitable spirit - and who undertakes the role of teaching his son - played by Cody Smit-McPhee to survive him, that is, to discover the fire within himself. But for all the transcendental love which Mortensen's character shows, it is clear that he is deluding himself in a sense, for his son is far too vulnerable and too young to fend for himself. The boy is just an albatross around his father's neck, but the father's love will not be extinguished. The son presumably represents an idealised human spirit, and his father will undergo unspeakable hardships to promote the next generation. What irked me was having to listen to the boy implore his father with the words, "Papa, papa" far too many times throughout the movie. I understand this is a homage to Cormac McCarthy and his own son, but it really grated. But for this, an excellent film, far more engaging than Day of the Triffids (!) Recommended
Buy this movie; you won't regret it. Be prepared to cry in the end, but understand there is still HOPE.