Thursday, December 03, 2009

The fire inside you

Cormac McCarthy's brilliant novel The Road is one of my favorite books. So I was both excited and nervous about the film adaptation. The trailer suggested that the film added a whole female character backstory, which I did not understand. Plus, McCarthy's spare and beautiful prose conveys so much of the novel's power that I did not know how it would translate. Anyway, I was skeptical.

As it turns out, the film of The Road is marvelous. The adaptation is extremely true to the page, and the visuals quite simply overwhelmed me. Viggo Mortensen really puts in one of his best performances. And though I was a little nervous about newcomer Kodi Smit-McPhee's performance at the beginning, he came around and did a very good job. The female backstory stuff that concerned me in the trailer was some flashbacking, and it works well and adds to the story. In addition, Robert Duvall steals the show in a brief scene.

Director John Hillicoat has created the most impressive post-apocalyptic world. The dead and gray landscapes are at once beautiful, depressing, and mesmerizing. Some of the shots (such as a long shot on a long highway bridge) convey the isolation and the panic that the father feels in his quest to protect his son in this cannibal- and death-filled world.

The Road contains some scenes that are truly frightening (if you've read the book, you'll know they're coming), and some moments of father-son bonding that grip the heart. The end of the film, so touchingly written in the novel, truly moved me. I cried deeply during moments of The Road, and then I sat in awed silence through the credits. The Road is a wonderful, gut-wrenching, depressing, frightening, warm and tender film.


At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Alisa posited...

I'm so excited to go see this movie! I'm glad they did adapted it will. I was a little nervous too. I wish it would hurry up and get closer to me!


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