Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Way Back (2010)

During WWII, Siberian gulag escapees walk 4000 miles overland to freedom in India. [imdb]

Nominated for 1 Oscar: Best Makeup

In the summer of 2010 people were already talking about this film. I myself thought at that time that, based on what we knew about it, it was a serious contender for Best Picture and Best Director. I had it for months on my prediction chart, but as nobody was picking it up, embracing it, etc, it just faded away. In the end it scored a Makeup nomination, and might I say a worthy one.

But it wasn't just the poor film distribution/campaign stopping The Way Back from making it big at the Oscars. It was also its poor quality to blame for the lack of success. I didn't like it. I might've enjoyed short scenes and some beautiful landscape, but I thought overall it was messy. Peter Weir is a good director, sometimes an incredible director, but definitely not successful as a writer. The dialogue is plain stupid at times, there are some casting mistakes and simply put the film just goes nowhere.

I thought Jim Sturgess's performance was awful at times and one of the 2 Romanian actors didn't do great either. Harris is fine, Saoirse is ok, Colin is cool - but nobody is great. And also: this film would've been much better in Russian; it feels confused and undecided and it lacks believability everytime the actors open their mouths and throw in some silly accents.

My rating for the film: 4.5/10. Way too long.


  1. Yes, this seemed to become a strong contender before it came out. I'm not really interested in it.

  2. Gosh, I've not seen anyone dislike it yet.

    I agree it was too long, and the accents were all over the place. But as a docu-drama type movie which simply explained what the characters did rather than the why I loved it.

  3. Perhaps if you read the book The Long Walk you would appreciate the film more, Slavomir was a fine man and his book is well read, a very sad story with tragic end with only Slav and Mr Smith surviving - maybe the actors are not passionate enough with regard to the true story.