Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A few words on The Way Back

I've been kinda lackadaisical on film reviews the last couple of months (more important things to write about this time of year don'tchyknow). You can always catch my abbreviated thoughts on late-year releases here.

But I only just finally got the chance to take in Peter Weir's modest epic (if there is such a thing) The Way Back, and just thought I aught to make my advocacy known. It's a marvelous movie that excels on a structure of succinct, clipped scenes as opposed to an overt three-act plot construction. The objective is that we're to pay more attention observing the group dynamic, which is a less dramatic but more humanistic approach to storytelling. A true ensemble piece it may be, but I have to single out one of my new favourite performances of the year from Ed Harris, who delivers a master lesson in emotion by understatement. The whole thing is beautifully shot by Russell Boyd, and the Oscar-nominated makeup is remarkably detailed. (***1/2 out of ****)

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