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The Way

13 Apr

Daniel Avery (played by Emilio Estevez) has always known his own mind. To the exasperation of his father, Tom (by Martin Sheen) – a doctor who’s always worked hard for what he has – Daniel has dropped out of college to live out his dream to see the world. He occasionally remembers to call home to California, so Tom vaguely manages to keep up with Daniel’s whereabouts. One day, Tom receives a call from French police to say Daniel has died while travelling on the “Camino de Santiago”, a pilgrimage walk of 800 miles from France through northern Spain to a village where the bones of St James are believed to be buried. Tom travels to a town at the start of the walk to recover Daniel’s body. Once in France, Tom feels a sense of “unfinished business” and regret at the estranged relationship he’s had with Daniel since his wife, Daniel’s mother, died a few years before. Something compels Tom to take the pilgrimage himself. Anticipating a solo journey, Tom is bemused that he somehow attracts people who don’t get the hint to leave him alone, but he is determined to finish the walk …

This is a nice move. Anyone who as travelled along any part of this trail will no doubt recognise the sights and scenery – it is showcased well and provides the perfect backdrop for this quite charming story. The acting, particularly from Martin Sheen and Yorick van Wageningen is strong. Deborah Kara Unger is also very good. At first, James Nesbitt’s character is way too over-the-top and particularly annoying, but fortunately he settles down and although I usually find him irritating, here he does put in a good performance. The story has potential to become cheesy and sentimental, but doesn’t. It starts off well but there is a little “flat” patch – stick with it though. It’s enjoyable – you may well be enticed to take the pilgrimage yourself. The original book is “Off the Road” by Jack Hitt.

Made in 2010. Directed by Emilio Estevez

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Posted by on April 13, 2013 in Movies

 

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