Thursday, 3 September 2009

"The Road" less travelled

Just as I begin to do my predictions, this goes and happens.

Todd McCarthy posted his review of ‘The Road’ today and it is not pretty at all. Perhaps this should have been seen from the beginning with all the release dates changing and the such, or perhaps these things are never predictable.
Anyway McCarthy really doesn't like the film, but this is not the first time he has slagged off something that has gone on to be a Best Picture nominee.
“This "Road" leads nowhere. If you're going to adapt a book like Cormac McCarthy's 2006 bestseller, you're pretty much obliged to make a terrific film or it's not worth doing -- first because expectations are high, and second, because the picture needs to make it worth people's while to sit through something so grim. Except for the physical aspects of this bleak odyssey by a father and son through a post-apocalyptic landscape, this long-delayed production falls dispiritingly short on every front. Showing clear signs of being test-screened and futzed with to death, the Dimension release may receive a measure of respect in some quarters but is very, very far from the film it should have been”
The notices for Mortensen and the other actors also spell trouble ahead come awards season:
“Unfortunately, Mortensen lacks the gravitas to carry the picture; suddenly resembling Gabby Hayes with his whiskers and wayward hair, the actor has no bottom to him, and his interactions with Smit-McPhee, whom one can believe as Theron's son but not Mortensen's, never come alive. Tellingly, both thesps are better in their individual scenes with other actors; Mortensen gets into it with Robert Duvall, who plays an old coot met along the road, while Smit-McPhee registers a degree of rapport with Guy Pearce, practically unrecognizable at first as another wanderer. Generally, the boy's readings are blandly on the nose.”
And so it begins, although not devastating, it does smell trouble and reviews like this will make it that much harder to get nominated……like every year one by one big contenders are picked off leaving the way for films not many people were expecting. I just wonder if there is a 'Slumdog Millionaire' in the bunch?

1 comment:

Vance said...

Well, Toronto Film Fest starts next week so we will see what's the buzz around town. Considering last year, Slumdog became the quick hot impossible ticket to get (at the time it reminded me of the same reaction TO gave Billy Elliot when it showed at TIFF), things should get more concise in 2 weeks when its over.