IN A MOMENT THE WORLD CHANGED FOREVER.
Ever since a huge catastrophic event killed most people, a man and his young son (Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee) have been trying to survive; the man is becoming increasingly frail and teaches the boy what he knows. John Hillcoat previously made another dystopia, The Proposition (2005), and this one is also relentlessly dark in most aspects. But there’s hope in the end just like in the book and Hillcoat pulls it off without getting too schmaltzy. The landscape is barren, cold and muddy and cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe bathes it in a stark, almost black-and-white light. The film may not do anything special to make it stand apart from the novel, but the cast is quite powerful.
The Road 2009-U.S. 111 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Paula Mae Schwartz, Steve Schwartz, Nick Wechsler. Directed by John Hillcoat. Screenplay: Joe Penhall. Novel: Cormac McCarthy. Cinematography: Javier Aguirresarobe. Music: Nick Cave, Warren Ellis. Cast: Viggo Mortensen (The Man), Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Boy), Charlize Theron (The Woman), Robert Duvall, Guy Pearce, Molly Parker.
Last word: “The key to me was going back to my initial reaction to the book. I had it before it was published, but it affected me like subsequently it affected a lot of readers, which was like this emotional freight train hitting you and ideas that made you think about a lot of things. I wanted to go back to that initial reaction that I had and somehow not digress from it or get sidetracked, so it was just trying to remain faithful to that reaction and the material that created that – and figure out how and why [that reaction] occurred. Really the focus had to be on that central journey of the father and son, and all of the apocalyptic cannibal stuff, that’s all obstacles that test the characters on their journey; that was all important, but the heart and soul of it was the love story between father and son – so it was to get that right.” (Hillcoat, Moviefone)