Wednesday, July 21, 2010

MOVIE REVIEW: "The Way" + a special surprise

Guest Blogger Liz Parker is back from an advance screening of "The Way" with Martin Sheen and Emilo Estevez.

Liz experienced a wonderful surprise at the Detroit screening. Read on to find out what happened...

"The Way" was screened by Grace Hill media, and the rep at the screening informed us that we were about the third audience in the United States who has seen this movie. We were then told that Emilio Estevez, the director and actor in the movie, would be around after the movie for a Q&A session. When Emilio stepped out after the movie to answer questions, he introduced another "special guest" - his father, Martin Sheen, who played the main character in the movie. Needless to say, having two acclaimed Hollywood directors/actors in the house was a special treat, and I am glad that I liked the movie as well so that I can give it a positive review.

Tom (Martin Sheen, TV's "The West Wing") gets a phone call one day that his only son, Daniel (Emilio Estevez, "D3: The Mighty Ducks"), has died in Europe while starting his journey on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. They hadn't been close since Daniel's mother died, but Tom is devastated nonetheless, and he flies to Spain to collect Daniel's body to bring it back to the U.S. After a policeman in Spain explains the significance of the Camino to Tom, however, and what the journey would have meant to Daniel, Tom decides to embark upon the journey himself. Along the way, he meets others making the pilgrimage as well, and he begins to connect to the world again.

The characters that Tom meets along the way were very memorable. There was Sarah (Deborah Kara Unger, "Silent Hill"), a Canadian who is walking the Camino in order to try to stop smoking; Jack (James Nesbitt, "Match Point"), a talkative Irish writer who has a bad case of "writer's block"; and Joost (Yorik van Wageningen, "The Chronicles of Riddick"), an overweight Dutchman with a pocketful of drugs from Amsterdam, who is trying to lose weight. Sheen ends up walking the Camino with these three, and along the way they end up learning each others' secrets and reasons for walking the Camino.

Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez answer questions from
the crowd at the Maple Art Theater in Bloomfield Hills on
July 21, 2010.

Yes, see this movie. Parts of it are very emotional, but there are also bits of humor sprinkled throughout to counterbalance this. Sheen's character Tom sees Daniel (Estevez) everywhere he goes on the Camino, which was interesting to see. In the Q&A session, I asked when the movie would be released to the general public, to which Estevez answered that he is unsure, as it has not been picked up by a studio yet. To find out more information about the movie, however, you can go to its website, at It was refreshing to see a movie that had nothing gratuitous in it, as well (ie, violence, swearing, nudity, etc.), and the movie itself told a great story that was captivating, as well as having beautiful scenery.

Liz Parker is a 2009 graduate of the University of Michigan. She currently works as an Assistant Medical Editor for a pathology website. Visit her at her movie blog Yes/No Films.
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