Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Road. A Terrible Beauty

The Road

Terrible.  Spare.  Horrifying.  Beautiful.  All words that aptly describe this work. I love the poster to the left because it is a perfect picture for this film.  A father and son traveling through a gray world with only each other.

I saw the movie a couple of months back and just finished the book.  I decided to read the book because I couldn't stop thinking about the movie.  It turns out that this is one of those cases where movie gets it almost perfectly.

This is the story of a world that has died.  Nothing grows.  All that is left are a few people that have been forced to become buzzards on the world that was.   In this bleak reality, many of those left have turned to cannibalism to survive.  One boy and his father are committed to survival, each other, being the good guys, and "carrying the light".

As I have not been able to stop thinking about it, I have also done some reading online about what others are saying about this.  Many it appears, look on this piece as a thesis on why environmentalism matters.  That is an interesting take but no where near what I got from this film.  What I saw was the beauty of a parent/child relationship that has been stripped down to the bare essentials.  This relationship was the sole beauty of this film and it was enough.

What to know before watching.

1) The poster to the right is the one that was on the cover of the DVD.  I think it was the more common one cause it shows Viggo Mortenson's face and for many, he is going to be the big draw.  The poster above though is a much better representation of the film.  Even in the book the people are unnamed.  It is the anonymity of the people that is so striking and gripping.  It could be any of us.

2) This book was an Oprah Book.  Any of you who read one or two Oprah books  know what that means.  Take your Prozac before viewing.

3)This book also won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.  The author, Cormac McCarthy also wrote No Country for Old Men.  I'm glad I didn't know that first or I probably wouldn't have watched this.  I hated that movie.

3) The R is WELL deserved.  A couple scenes can only be described as horrific.  The pay off was totally worth it for me but it is not for the faint of heart.  My husband couldn't take it.  I watched the end alone.

4) Commonsense Media review here.  Iffy for 15+.  Yep.  Iffy for any tender hearts.

Five Stars- I Love It.  (and i hate it)

Currently available on DVD

Here is the trailer but be warned.  It shows all of horror but none of the beauty.


  1. Wow, this is a good review.

    Any movie that makes you love it and hate it is great.

  2. After my husband read the book and we discussed it, I didn't think I was interested. I have to admit that your review of the movie made me want to see it, which for me would also mean reading the book. Must have been a great review!

  3. I didn't like the movie. But let me be specific. It was a well done film representation of a well written book that had something important to say. I still didn't like it. Cormac and me, we're not really buds. And frankly, it contained some triggers for me. My dh, otoh, loved the movie, the book, the author.

  4. I hear you Jen. I tried to make it clear that this is not for everyone. I am not generally a fan of Cormac either. And I certainly am not a fan of horror. But something about this one draws me.