2 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
The Road (I) (2009)
A film without a personal vision from a book with a strong one
15 September 2009
The major problem of the director was how to adapt a novel where the reader has the impression of entering into a nightmare from which he is waking up a different man.

Well, the power of the novel is to create a sort of metaphor of the world that Mc Carthy has created in all his books and that this metaphor is never more than the awareness of what is in front of us.

In that sense, "The Road" and "Blindness" (the novel of Nobel prize "Saramago") are two mirrors of the same image but with a different landscape. Saramago shows that landscape is secondary (the movie of Meireilles is also good at showing this), while Mc Carthy insists on a landscape but this is also secondary and a simple metaphor.

Unfortunately, John Hillcoat has decided to focus strongly on the digital transfer of Mc Carthy nightmare, with the result of a succession of nightmarish landscapes (but finally boring, because they are visualized and not imagined!). In its search for the fidelity to the text he has lost his own personal contribution to the movie (see the great difference with the other Mc Carthy recent adaptation: "No country for old men", showing both Mc Carthy and the personal vision of the Coen's).

Finally, what the book is excellent to do...leaving us in the incertitude to understand if this is a real landscape, a remote part of our mind that cannot be even imagined, in a sense a metaphor of what Mc Carthy has described in his other books, then the movie is totally incapable to represent.
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12 (2007)
Not a remake, but an investigation into today's Russia
8 September 2007
Sure, it is difficult and will be difficult for all those who have seen Sidney Lumet's Twelve angry men to avoid recalling part of that wonderful movie where, like in this, we move between great characters and excellent actors to investigate about the meaning of personal involvement in the life of a community.

However, apart from the similar elements that we'll find, this movie achieves, as only a few films have done, to investigate the mechanisms of the current Russian society from the inside. Michalkov is greatly helped in this task not only by an excellent scenario and direction but also by a cast of actors that achieves perfection (including himself as the president of the jury).

The picture of the Russia of today is not optimistic (I would be tempted to say that rarely this has been the case in Russian history), and what appears clear is the capacity of the Russian people, that also emerge from the Russian literature and opera, to struggle and survive in the middle of chaos and brutality. If there is hope, it is in the tenacity of the individuals to be committed to fight...but when will this fight come to a (positive) end?
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