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The Way More at IMDbPro »

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123 out of 142 people found the following review useful:

It's not "The Way", it's "Our Own Way"

10/10
Author: msmoc from United Kingdom
19 May 2011

This is surely Emilio Estevez's Masterwork, in the same way as was Costner's "Dances with Wolves". It is "The Quiet Epic"! The movie didn't require; Noise, CGI, Foul Language or Special Effects - all that it needed and got were; Across the Board Top Class Acting Performances and Brilliant Cinematography.

Although, no longer a spring chicken, I spent over 2 hours completely engrossed in this film, alternating between tears and laughter. I found it was a movie made with such loving care that it encouraged, and enabled me, to share their experience and make my own life journey with them. My own emotions and life history became intermingled with theirs. I feel it was Emilio's intention for us all to take "Our Own Way".

My main sadness is that so many people will be unable to see it at cinemas, as it has only been given a single weeks run to facilitate the usual glut of "So called Blockbusters". Movies like The Way need time to breathe, as "Word of Mouth" is the key to expanding Audience figures and the wider appreciation such a work deserves..

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118 out of 135 people found the following review useful:

great piece of cinema

10/10
Author: bill considine from Ireland
15 May 2011

I have looked forward to "the way" since first hearing about it. I heard interviews with Martin Sheen himself and a great double interview with Martin and Emilio on Irish radio. I did a part of the camino in 2009 and It was a life changing/enhancing experience for me so I couldn't wait to see how the film would deal with it. Yesterday I saw the film in the Screen cinema in College Green Dublin. The film is, in my opinion, very true to the camino experience. A previous reviewer trivialised it as "a road movie" and suggested "wizard of Oz" characterisation. The camino "road" has been travelled for over a thousand years. Long before "road movies" were even thought about and yes, any story of fellow travellers sharing their stories on a journey, can be similar to the "wizard of Oz" but I think Chaucers "Canterbury Tales" is probably the true origin of the species. The camino de Santiago in its reality, and in this film, is a wonderful kaleidoscopic confluence of humanity. Pilgrims seem to self-select for certain character traits such as eccentricity, other worldliness, joyfullness, adventurousness, hurt, curiosity etc. Tom's companions were all from the palette of characters I found on the camino. Tom himself was an accidental pilgrim and only at the end of the camino did he allow himself to fall in love with it like the others. Tom, the cynical skeptic, driven to put one foot in front of another as a way of dealing with the brokenness of his relationship with his son and the trauma of his sudden death, allows the distance required to allow viewers share in the journey of the Camino in a way that could not have been achieved by following four "ordinary" pilgrims, no matter how colourful. Tom was the "straight man", the foil, that allowed the full colours of all the other characters to shine through. I thought it was a brilliant piece of cinema. Ole!

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78 out of 91 people found the following review useful:

Understated and therefore very moving

10/10
Author: paulinewainwright from United Kingdom
3 May 2011

This movie exceeded all expectations, which were already very high. All kudos to Emilio Estevez for an excellent screenplay and superb direction. The photography, too, was wonderful. I think this will go down as one of Martin Sheen's best ever performances. He underplays his role (due to Emilio's direction?) which makes it all the stronger. In fact, it's the understated quality of the whole film that makes it very moving. It never descends into sentimentality but you still feel the grief of Martin Sheen's character as he makes the pilgrimage his estranged dead son never completed. At the same time, there are a lot of funny moments, which lift it from becoming a depressing journey. The gradual coalescing of the four very different main characters into a unified group works very well. Each of them has a different reason for making the pilgrimage and, to begin with, they seem to have nothing in common, but it's still very believable when they start to relate to each other. Emilio and his father Martin have every reason to be very proud of this film. It works on every level.

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79 out of 96 people found the following review useful:

My 393rd Review: Treads Lightly But Very Nicely...

9/10
Author: intelearts from the big screen
27 March 2011

This beautiful simple and involving film is one of the better films I've seen in the past couple of years. It does what the best of cinema can - it moves us, and reminds us that life is a journey full of chance encounters and that its not all serendipity, but we can walk on too.

Matin Sheen and his son, Emilio Estevez, make a winning team here - the direction, though straightforward is, like Ron Howard, filled with memorable scenes and images that linger. Sheen himself is always good at taking us with him - his half-amused, half-bemused style suits this perfectly. As he travels on the old pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela to deal with tragic loss he meets and forms a group with three other pilgrims.

All in all, the overall experience of watching this is simply pleasure - and like Danny Boyle's films, it seems simple but it is a complete experience. The Way is human, emotive, emotional, and sincere, and for this viewer a good journey.

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61 out of 73 people found the following review useful:

wonderful film

10/10
Author: gareth-91 from United Kingdom
14 May 2011

went to see this last night at 11.10pm, but cinema forgot to start the film, so it was 5 to midnight before we got going - with a little prompting.

It makes me want to do el camino. Very touching. I cried twice and laughed, and towards the end was sitting with a huge grin on my face. The warmth between the characters was good, honest, authentic.

It's also like having plans to do one thing, but you end up doing something quite different, that just grows. I could feel a loosening at the end of it, where feelings had shifted for people, there was a release for the characters that had happened in a very real way. Nothing grated, it was very gentle, but built up to a wave that carried me with it.

Scenery is beautiful of course. An interesting bit with the gypsies in Spain that I found challenging. It brought me up as I believed the same stuff they assumed - I'd heard it so much: and it is interesting when I realised that what I've accepted as truth may just be prejudice. We all like a scapegoat to absolve ourselves, and to feel superior to other folks.

Well done everyone involved with this. I think I will be buying a few copies of this to hand out.

It makes me want to go, but it kind of makes me want to go alone to see who I meet on the way.

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64 out of 81 people found the following review useful:

Simple but engaging road movie

Author: DanielKing from London, England
21 February 2011

Like most road movies, this is as much about the characters' inward journey as it is about getting from A to B. At times it is too sentimental for my taste and some of the encounters seem rather artificial. But it has considerable warmth, humanity and good humour.

I saw this at the BFI in London at a screening attended by Emilio Estevez and Martin Sheen. They are very proud of their film and it obviously means a lot to them, as father and son. They came across as intelligent and socially aware people, which was great to see.

During the discussion, a member of the audience pointed out the parallels with "The Wizard of Oz", something which I confess escaped me while the film was on but seemed perfectly obvious when I heard it. So watch out for that if you see the movie, and also look out for a cameo by Matt Clark, veteran character actor and, apparently, good friend of MArtin Sheen.

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46 out of 56 people found the following review useful:

Martin Sheen walks 500 miles in northern Spain and it is a pleasure to watch every single one

Author: chaz-28 from Rockville, MD
20 October 2011

Everyone has their own, personal reason for choosing to walk the real 500 mile Camino de Santiago. This is a trail which begins in France, winds its way through the French Pyrenees, across northern Spain's Basque region, and ends in Galicia at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Legend says St. James is buried here. Every year, thousands of 'pilgrims' make this arduous trek which can take months to accomplish. However, don't let the word pilgrim fool you; many people undertake this quest for non-religious reasons.

In fact, four such folk are the main characters in The Way. Tom (Martin Sheen) is a native Californian eye doctor who spends as much time on the links as he does at the office. He receives an unexpected phone call from a French policeman informing him his son Daniel (Emilio Estevez) died in southern France in a major storm. Tom flies out to France to collect his body and learns about the pilgrimage Daniel was just starting out on.

Tom and Daniel did not have the best parting one would like to have the last time you are going to see your son. Tom thought Daniel was wasting his life on these silly adventures while Daniel responded with the platitude, "You don't choose your life, you experience it." In a moment of remorse and homage, Tom decides to walk the 500 miles for Daniel with his cremated remains spreading his ashes along the way.

Quickly, he is joined by fellow pilgrims each with their own reasons for taking a few months out of their lives to backpack across Spain. There is the Dutchman Joost (Yorick van Wageningen) who is walking the trail to lose weight for his brother's wedding. Sarah (Deborah Kara Unger) is a chain smoking Canadian who vows to drop the habit once she reaches the cathedral and Jack (James Nesbitt) is an Irishman convinced the trail will finally crack his writer's block. Initially, Tom does not particularly want their company because he is suffering from some severe guilt and remorse about Daniel. This leads to the film's low point of a drunken rage against pilgrims and his walking mates. Fortunately, once this ridiculous and needless scene is over, the rest of The Way is a very enjoyable movie to watch.

The Way was shot with only available light, sunlight during the day and candles and fire at night which lends it a great deal of authenticity. Other than the main characters, everyone else on screen are actual pilgrims walking the trail to the cathedral. There is a scene later on with real Roma (Gypsies). Since the Camino de Santiago means a great deal to many people, especially those in northern Spain, you can really see how writer/director Emilio Estevez took his time to do this right.

It is refreshing to see Emilio pop his head up once again for some work. I last saw him when he directed 2006's Bobby and since then it appears he has only directed a couple episodes of Numb3rs. Perhaps he is always waiting for some real inspiration to use as his next project. He mentioned The Way came about from his father and his son's experience on the trail. I wonder if the character Jack is a model for Emilio since the first draft of this screenplay took six months to write. Furthermore, it is about time Martin Sheen showed up in a good movie again. Recently, he has had some bit parts in throw away movies such as Love Happens and Imagine That and hasn't truly had quality work since The Departed.

The Way won't win any awards; however, it is so positive and perhaps intentionally persuasive that I bet every person in the audience thought about how they could find a few months to take off and hike that distance. I had no idea that such a place as the Camino de Santiago existed before watching The Way which I suspect is a big reason why Emilio Estevez took the time to write and direct this film. He wants the rest of us to know about it as well.

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37 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

Refuses to get lost on a road so big

9/10
Author: Steve Pulaski from United States
11 October 2011

I've been anticipating The Way for about two and a half years for the wrong reason - I wanted to see Emilio Estevez back on the screen. The last formal film he appeared in was Rated X with his brother Charlie Sheen in 2000. Finally we see Emilio's talents not only behind the camera, but in writing as well. He handles the screenplay, the directing, and the producing in this beautifully crafted film.

You can tell just from the close-to-home feel of the character The Way is something sentimental and meaningful to both Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez. Both real life father and son actors have been taking most of their time in 2011 and using it to promote a film with heart and soul, but will likely be ignored when in theaters because of its very limited release and its minimal marketing.

The story focuses on Tom (Sheen), an American doctor, who goes to France after hearing his adventure-seeking son Daniel (Estevez) has died in a storm while hiking the Camino de Santiago - a famed Christian route many walk on to find faith or go to Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela at the end of the five-hundred mile route.

After arriving in France to pick up Daniel's ashes, Tom makes a split-second decision that he will follow hike the path of his son, while spreading his ashes throughout the trail. He meets up with many different people with many different stories. They are Joost (Wageningen), a Dutchman who is hiking the trail for exercise purposes, Sarah (Unger) who is trying to quit smoking, and "Jack from Ireland" (Nesbitt) who is suffering from writer's block and is trying to collect information about fellow hikers and their separate journeys.

The Way has a number of strange qualities - for one it has noticeable parallels to the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz. And two, it is odd for Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez, two actors that practice in strict Catholicism, to focus on a film that leads to a Christian Cathedral. Whatever the reason behind it, the story is pitch-perfect and Martin Sheen may have just given one of the best performances of his career.

The tears come and go in The Way, but so do the shocker scenes like when the topic of abortion is briefly mentioned. It is rare for such a film to bring up a controversial topic, which is why The Way deserves a load of credit.

The plot isn't too deep, but the story is truly moving. The acting by the four characters is fantastic, and like any road movie, it is more about the characters getting to find their inner-selves rather than walking from point a to point b. Only here - it is more welcomed because of the fact that is what the Camino de Santiago is all about.

Starring: Martin Sheen, Deborah Kara Unger, James Nesbitt, Yorick van Wageningen, and Emilio Estevez. Directed by: Emilio Estevez.

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31 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

Simple yet impressive !

7/10
Author: oiwiein from United States
2 November 2011

I really liked this film. It made me feel good. I loved the beautiful countryside camera shots. Those alone are worthy of National Geographic. The parts between conversations had a calming effect on me along with the soundtrack. I thought Martin Sheen did very well as did the other actors. They all worked so well together and by the end of the movie you could see they spent a lot of time together on the set and honestly got along or so it seemed and thats what made the movie impressive. Wonderful movie to watch with an uplifting vibe and quirky characters with a real bond make this a definite must see. I can actually see myself watching this for a second time and that's rare in films for me. Enjoy !

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26 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

The pilgrimage of a father mourning his adult son

Author: anders-162-829548 from Cambridge, England
17 September 2011

This carefully written road movie drama was directed by Emilio Estevez, who used traditional footage, and laid out the story over a compelling soundtrack with artists such as Tyler Bates, James Taylor and Nick Drake. In brief, we're following Martin Sheen's character Tom during his pilgrimage journey whilst mourning his dead son who died on the same pilgrim route after only one day. Tom meets people along the way who also become his friends, although Tom himself is uninviting. In contrast to the other characters Tom develops throughout the film and goes through the various stages of mourning that come with a great loss such as he suffered. Except from the usual message that people spend too little time reflecting over their life's I think "The Way" makes a good job of describing the strong bond between father and son, and at the same time highlight some problems with that relationship. Some scenes are obviously there to hammer in those two messages and the film would have been even better had they been made more subtle. I do recommend watching this film, and I think it shows that Emilio Estevez' directing skills don't just pertain to "Bobby".

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