A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind and water. It is cold enough to crack stones, and, when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the warmer south, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing: just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless cannibalistic bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a rusting shopping cart of scavenged food--and each other. Written by
The scene where the Man washes the Boy's hair in the stream was shot three times. During that scene, the weather was very cold, so John Hillcoat promised Kodi Smit-McPhee that it would be done in only two takes. However, during the second take, the sun came out and ruined the shot, requiring a third take. The boy's crying afterward was Smit-McPhee actually crying, not acting. See more »
Midway through the movie the Man finds an unopened Coca-Cola can in a machine. When it falls out it has a dented top. When they drink from the can, there is no dent. See more »
Greetings again from the darkness. The most recent adaptation of a Cormac McCarthy novel brought us the fantastic No Country for Old Men (Coen Bros.). McCarthy's post-apocalyptic The Road did not seem to set up well as filmed entertainment. Director John Hillcoat proves otherwise.
Make no mistake. This film is as bleak and filled with despair as any you have ever seen. This is not the SFX of fluff like 2012. This is the humanistic side of desperation and survival in a world where what little has survived seems grotesque and evil.
It is a phenomenal movie from a technical aspect, yet a higher rating seems off the mark, as so very few movie goers will find the entertainment value of such an achievement. While viewing, one can't help but weigh the ever-present option of suicide. What would we do in this situation? Do you continue to carry the fire or do you ask, what's the point, and hit the eject trigger? If you thought Charlize Theron was unappealing in Monster, you will find her absolutely intolerable here. Her beauty is overridden by her angst and unwillingness to continue the fight for her survival. Is she the rational one or totally selfish? Really good question.
The vast majority of the film is Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee on their quest for the coast ... their ultimate goal for survival. The gray and lifeless landscape would (and does)suck the hope and soul right out of most. Viggo keeps trudging while teaching his young, more sensitive son, who by the way, is a dead ringer for Charlize (were she a 12 year old boy). The grayness of the film is so intense, that the dream/flashback sequences couldn't help but make me wonder if life were black and white, would dreams be vivid and colorful? Fans of No Country for Old Men will catch a glimpse of Garret Dillahunt as the hillbilly gang member who stumbles upon the Father and Son - Dillahunt was Tommy Lee Jones' entertaining deputy. Robert Duvall and Guy Pearce also have brief, but welcome, supporting roles. Duvall actually does quite a bit with his limited lines.
While it seems odd to release this one at Thanksgiving - it's not in the tradition of mass-appeal holiday fare, it is a must see for any true film lover or literature addict. To see the gray and stillness become as overwhelming as what is usually limited to one's imagination is worth the effort.
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