Film Preview: The Road

Posted in Film, Previews
By Sam Bathe on 20 May 2009

John Hillcoat’s long-awaited adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Road is finally getting close to release. The name Cormac McCarthy will be familiar to many not simply as an author, but as the author who penned the novel upon which the Coen Brother’s multi-Oscar-winning No Country for Old Men was based. Indeed, McCarthy adaptations currently seem to be rather in-vogue, with a production of Blood Meridian also in the works.

Announced in 2007, The Road has steadily built up an intriguing buzz, a buzz which has recently been bolstered by the appearance of a trailer that looks very promising. Establishing a bleak aesthetic and grim tone that seems in keeping with the haunting mood of the novel, the plot follows the journey of an unnamed father and son, played here by Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee, after a cataclysmic event annihilates the majority of life on earth, leaving a bleak, dangerous wilderness for them to navigate.

Whilst there are big names across the board in this production – Guy Pearce, Robert Duvall and Charlize Theron are all involved – perhaps not too many will recognise the name of director John Hillcoat. Not to worry, however, for his last feature length project was 2005’s fantastic western The Proposition, in which returning actor Guy Pearce starred. It should be noted, therefore, that Hillcoat is more than capable of handling sparse, unwelcoming environments and getting great performances from his leads.

Also exciting is the news that Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, of the Bad Seeds, are reuniting with director Hillcoat to compose the original soundtrack. Given that their score for The Proposition was so unique and haunting, they would seem the perfect choice.

With critically acclaimed source material to work from and a fantastic array of talent on show in all departments, it would be a fairly safe bet that we’re in for something special come the autumn.

The Road is out in America in Q4 later this year.

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