Saturday, August 6, 2011

Film Review - The Way Back (2010)

The Way Back is the first film by veteran Australian director Peter Weir since his 2003 movie Master and Commander which starred Russell Crowe, the story here concerns a group of prisoners in a Siberian gulag who during a storm one night make a break for it, but the journey from there has only just begun.

I was very much looking forward to this film, mainly due to the fact that Weir was the director, having greatly admired some of his earlier films such as 1981's Gallipoli and 1989's Dead Poets Society which is also one of my all time favourite films, but did Weir manage to deliver the goods in light of his long absence.

Gladly, he most certainly did, the film is beautifully shot by Weir regular Russell Boyd with the various regions of ice and mountains, sand and forests plus a beach or two feeling like a central character in it's own right, but apart from that the film is a wonderful journey with some fine acting by Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Saoirse Ronan and Mark Strong among the highlights.

You know, as I watched this I was reminded of the fact that directors like Peter Weir and James Cameron knew fundamentally how to make a great big screen adventure whereas a lot of modern directors really do stuff that feels more like a big budget TV show, but still I enjoyed this film thoroughly and it was well worth the wait to see it, 4 out of 5.

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