Movie Review: The Way


(isn’t that movie poster breathtaking?)

Do you like Spain? Go see this movie!

Do you like Martin Sheen? Go see this movie!

Do you like moving stories about a father’s love for his son? Go see this movie!

Do you like to smile and laugh and also sometimes cry but then fist pump a couple minutes later, by yourself, in a dark movie theater? Go see this movie! Companionship is overrated optional.

“The Way” is a film about a father’s reaction to his son’s tragic death on the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage leading to the Spanish town of Santiago de Compostela, where Saint James’s remains are said to be buried. Martin Sheen plays the father, Tom, and his real-life son Emilio Estevez produced and directed the movie, as well as played Tom’s dead son. When Tom, a curmudgeonly opthamologist (best combination of words ever), learns of his son’s sudden death, he travels to Spain to recover his remains. But when he understands his son’s journey and learns more about the Camino, he decides to finish what his son started and walk the nearly 500 miles from St. Jean Pied du Port to Santiago de Compostela. Along the way, of course, he meets a motley crew of Peregrinos and, through their companionship, learns to live his dead son’s philosophy:

“You don’t choose a life, dad. You live it.”

There are so many incredible moments in this movie – moments of heartbreak, compassion, of unexpected friendships and rage and cultural misunderstandings. The soundtrack is perfect. And I have never seen a movie, photo, or any other media portray the Spanish countryside in such an awe-inspiring way. It is, from every angle, a beautiful film.

I’ve got to admit, though, that the primary emotion I felt walking out of our little indie movie theater on Sunday night was excitement. Because next May, my Dad and I are walking the camino together. It’s going to be so amazing, I can’t stand it. Go read his review of the movie here. And then go see it yourself.

Full Disclosure: I also went and saw Footloose this week. And I have to admit that I enjoyed it. It is shameless, terribly acted, superficial fun. Who says you can’t enjoy both?

I love it when you write to me.

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