The RoadFeature Film |
McCarthy's bleak story enters the cinematic realm with its spirit intact.
A brutal, bare-bones tale of fatherhood, famine, and fear, Cormac McCarthy's The Road, with its post-apocalyptic setting and ever-present tension, certainly has built-in cinema-ready elements. Adapting the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel successfully to the silver screen, however, required more than just a filmmaker willing to work with an abundance of ash and desolation, and, fortunately, the right person was found in Australian director John Hillcoat. Knowing a thing or two about isolation and desperation from his arresting previous effort, The Proposition, Hillcoat hews quite close to McCarthy's book for much of the movie, successfully conveying the author's bleak tone and deliberate pacing without letting those aspects weigh the film down. Scenes are added and subtracted, but the true spirit of The Road is present, thanks in large part to remarkable performances by Viggo Mortensen and newcomer Kodi Smit-McPhee, who are ideal as a father and son struggling to survive in a shockingly harsh environment. Some may grumble about Charlize Theron's presence, but her character's slightly expanded role makes sense in this light—after all, what works on the page doesn't always work on the screen and vice versa. While posters and trailers of a gaunt, bearded Mortensen didn't pull many viewers into the theaters, The Road is actually best viewed at home, where the intimacy of this moving story seems even more apparent.
|The Road trailer|