Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday Flickers: John Hillcoat, "The Road," and Cormac McCarthy

The Road, Australian filmmaker John Hillcoat's adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's stunning post-apocalyptic novel, looks to be one of the most intriguing -- and darkest -- major releases of the holiday season.

Opening tomorrow, the film is picking up mixed reviews.

"Evocative as it is, The Road comes up short, not because it's bleak but because it's monotonous," David Edelstein writes in New York magazine.

A.O. Scott, reviewing for The New York Times, says, "The Road is engrossing and at times impressive, a pretty good movie that is disappointing to the extent that it could have been great." Read the rest of the review here.

The heart of the beautifully crafted novel is a father-and-son love story, an aspect of the book that Hillcoat emphasized in the film, as the director of The Proposition told PopMatters.

“He (the father, played by Viggo Mortensen) is teaching him what love is," Hillcoat said. "The Boy is born into this hopeless world knowing from that relationship what love is and what’s sensible. And actually, that’s the whole point of the story.”

For the rest of the story, click here.

Los Angeles Times
reporter Scott Timberg recently offered an analysis of McCarthy's career, and his relationship with the movies. The author, who seldom speaks to the press, declined to give an interview for the piece.

"The author was so poor he couldn't afford toothpaste, but refused to do anything to promote his work," Timberg writes. "It's the biography of a starving artist, not a Hollywood player. But with this week's release of The Road, Cormac McCarthy -- the reclusive author who told Oprah Winfrey that he didn't care if people read his books -- will be officially enshrined as one of Hollywood's hottest properties.

It's not just The Road, a grim but sometimes stirring post-apocalyptic tale directed by John Hillcoat and starring Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron and newcomer Kodi Smit-McPhee. Andrew Dominik, the adventurous Australian director who adapted The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford from Ron Hansen's novel, has expressed interest in McCarthy's The Crossing."

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