Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
The Way Back
Their escape was just the beginning
Peter Weir's follow-up to Master & Commander (2003) is the stark & brilliant The Way Back, which takes on the theme of man's struggle for freedom. At the dawn of WWII, several men escape from a Russian gulag. The film details their perilous & uncertain journey to freedom, as they cross deserts, mountains, & several nations.
I haven't felt this guilty eating pizza and drinking beer while watching a film since Steve McQueen's Hunger.
After watching both "Master And Commander" and "The Way Back" I've got to say that I really admire Peter Weir, I think that he is an incredible director and a very underrated one.
In "The Way Back" I think that the most powerful thing that this movie delivers is the ability of Peter Weir to tell a story in a very effective and beautiful way. this is a very good looking movie with a lot of different locations which really makes you feel in the situation, in a very unique and effective way. The actors did a great job in my opinion and it was surprising to watch the two young talented actors(Jim Sturgess and Saoirse Ronan) carrying the movie,…
The Way Back is the story of a group of men who escape imprisonment and communism. They're later joined by a female (Saoirse Ronan). They achieve this by fleeing prison in Siberia and walking 4000 miles to India. As you can imagine they face many trials and tribulations along the way.
The cast which features Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Colin Farrell, and Saoirse Ronan is solid. I didn't have an issue with any of the acting.
Peter Weir's directing is good as well. From the harsh terrains of Siberia, Mongolia, and Tibet it's all shot beautifully. You feel the groups struggle through the elements they encounter, and it's what makes the story work.
As for the overall story this is…
A movie about walking, and walking, and walking, and walking,and walking, and walking, and walking,and walking, and walking, and walking, and walking, and walking, and walking, and walking, and walking, and walking, and walking, and walking,and walking, and walking, and walking,and walking, and walking, and walking, and walking, and walking, and walking, and walking, and walking, and walking.....that is actually a very epic and cinematic experience.
I've loved every Peter Weir movie that I've seen. The man is a legend as far as I'm concerned, yet there's still something holding me back from all-out love for this film. I was fighting back yawns in the theater and I fought back yawns on the home screen. What's to love is of course the visuals. I'd expect nothing less from Weir and he delivers some truly grand natural spectacle. You get every possible angle of landscape porn and on its own, the landscape shots are top notch. Then there's the story, which is an amazing conceit and knowing it is a true story makes it more special.
Where I lose focus with the film is the characters. There's…
A bit of a non-event, really. No matter how true the story is, and no matter how well it's shot, you can't escape the fact that this is really quite boring. I would say that this was disappointing, but it's exactly what I was expecting.
An overlong, averagely acted bore.
Decent but not great movie, which from Peter Weir is a pretty big disappointment. Roger Ebert’s review is spot-on. The story, while inspiring, is just not that interesting, and the characters aren’t strong enough to sustain it.
Plus, the movie opens with a title card telling you how many of them made it to the end of their journey, so you spend the film waiting for them to drop off one by one. Really odd choice.
You’re going to get epic scale any time Peter Weir is involved in a film and that’s certainly present as we follow a group of escapees from a Russian World War 2 gulag. There’s a lot of walking involved as the group moves from Siberia across Mongolia and Tibet to India and the necessary attendant drama. Weir also has a talent for eliciting notable performances and both Sturgess and Harris shine as the two leaders of the group. I know they were going for authenticity but some of the accents were so deep as to make the language indecipherable, especially whenever Farrell was talking. I’m not sure this ever really happened but it was a great testament to the human need for freedom and what we’ll go through to achieve it. The Siberian tourist agency (if one exists) however is not going to be happy with this film.
For a movie with such an epic scope, it is surprisingly made up mostly of small moments. On the whole, Peter Weir's true survival tale of prisoners escaping from Soviet Russia during WWII is somewhat uneven in the way it tries to balance all of its pieces. Many of its shining moments are brought down by a few unnecessary or bland scenes that don't add much to the overall experience.
My main issue with the film overall is that while it focuses on such a small group of people over its lengthy run-time, it provided very little characterization and never elaborates much or builds on many of these people. What counteracts this to some degree is that the performances are…
Never dragged. Could have been more grueling in Siberia. I do wonder what happened to Colin Farrel's character.
The almost unbearable hallucinogenic horror of the opening scenes gradually gives way to a rather run of the mill survival story, but it's fascinating viewing.
I don't particularly know what was being attempted with this film. If it was a character drama it lacked focus on the characters - we never really got to know any of them particularly well, and even Saoirse Ronan's character (who is excellent as usual), by far the most fleshed out, didn't really feel like a deep character. If it was meant to feel like an epic it lacked scale, considering the long distances travelled that may seem quite surprising, but we're never really given an idea of that - one moment they've left Russia, then they're in (what we're left to assume) is the Gobi Desert, then they're in Tibet, then India . I enjoyed the film but was left feeling that it could have been so much more. There was a slight attachment to the characters but no where near the amount that there should have been.
It is 1940 and the Soviet Union controls part of Poland while Germany controls the rest. The Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin has begun sending any potential criminals or enemies to prisons in Siberia from all over the country. Several Polish men are sent to a prison camp in southern Siberia. It is here that the group meets an American named Smith and a Soviet named Valka. Under the direction of an educated Polish man named Janusz the group of men plan an escape from the prison camp. They know they have to walk at least a couple thousand kilometers to reach the freedom of Mongolia and are prepared to risk their lives for it. However, everything is not as…
Everybody walks until they die.
Someone please tell me how the fuck they sold THAT idea. I'm not even mad... It's amazing. Also Weir wins all the awards for laziest/sloppiest ending sequence EVAR.
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