Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The Road to Nowhere... My Review
My review of the ultimate holiday downer of a movie, The Road is live. Though extravagantly praised by many critics, I found it admirable but oddly unaffecting, using my own personal "how much time did I spend trying not to let people see I was crying" meter. Because here's the thing — it's really, really easy to make me cry at movies. I'm especially susceptible to cute animals falling into rivers: Benji the Hunted destroyed me, and I saw it on a tiny TV, in a bar, with the sound off while I was waiting for a friend, and I was in my hardboiled twenties. I had to beat a hasty retreat to the ladies room and when I'd composed myself sufficiently, I asked the bartender whether there wasn't a game on somewhere. And I hate sports.
Anyway, I recount this embarrassing tale to give some context to the fact that The Road left me absolutely dry eyed. It isn't meant to be a cheap tear-jerker, which is one of the things I admire about it. But the fact is that the resolution of the film's central relationship — between a boy born immediately after some disaster sent the Earth into a slow death spiral and the father who's trying to raise him to survive in a savage world without becoming savage — should leave any thinking person devastated: Their story is the story of the whole world writ small.
I actually think director John Hillcoat's previous movie, an underrated Western set in 1880s Australia called The Proposition, does a better job of exploring the strength of human connection in the face of unrelenting brutality.
Tell me what you think...