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Review of "The Way" with Martin Sheen

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Estevez’s fourth feature stars father, Martin Sheen
“The Way,” Emilio Estevez’s fourth feature as a writer-director, begins at the Camino de Santiago’s start, in St.-Jean-Pied-de-Port, below the often-snowbound Route de Napoleon over the Pyrenees. Starring Martin Sheen, Estevez’s father, it takes in Galicia’s improbable-looking Santiago de Compostela, a huge piece of medieval real estate topped by a jaw-dropping cathedral. Sheen plays Tom, an American widower who’s in St.-Jean to reclaim the body of his estranged son, who died, lost on the Route de Napoleon. Tom cremates the remains, puts them in his son’s backpack and starts off to complete the young man’s journey
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
I saw an early trailer of this film today... don't think it is posted anywhere yet... but, it actually looked pretty good.

Looking forward for this film!

Saludo,
Ivar
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
It looks just wonderful, and I'm really looking forward to seeing it.

Just one thing -

I will never dive into an icy river to retrieve my pack. Never. :)

lynne
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
lynnejohn said:
It looks just wonderful, and I'm really looking forward to seeing it.

Just one thing -

I will never dive into an icy river to retrieve my pack. Never. :)

lynne

That's true Lynne....but I just might jump into an icy river to retrieve Martin Sheen :D
Nell
 

Sheesh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2009, 2013);
? (2020)
Oh my dear Nell, you did make me laugh with your last comment. Girl, thanks for that great giggle!

And I had many more such chuckles today when I treated myself to reading your blog from start to finish. Love the comic spin you weave into your story telling.

I too can't wait to see this movie. My next trek, God willing, is over a year away, so I need to get all the "camino fixes" I can. Can't seem to get enough. Got one such fix today with your blog though. Thanks again.

Sheesh
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
Thanks Sheesh,
Laughter was one of the greatest, and most unexpected, gifts of our Camino so I'm very glad that it's being passed on in some small part.
By the way I wasn't joking about Martin Sheen! I would certainly jump into an icy river but the only thing is...... Frances would probably beat me to him :D
Nell
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
The film The Way, written and directed by Emilio Estevez and starring his father, Martin Sheen , has been selected at the 35 Toronto International Film Festival (Canada ).
This film is sponsored by Xacobeo 2010 Galicia and the involvement of TVG and Xunta de Galicia.
Its premiere in Spain is scheduled for November.

europapress.es
 

docbok

New Member
I saw the movie at the Toronto International Film Festival this afternoon. This is my take:

Emilio Estevez’s Father/Son tribute is set upon the Camino de Santiago de Compostella and captures not only the scenery, but the heart of the Camino on screen.
The Way (in Spanish Camino) takes an American ophthalmologist (Martin Sheen) from his lucrative California practice to St. Jean Pied de Port, ostensibly to claim the body of his estranged son (Emilio Estevez), killed during a storm on his first day of pilgrimage through the Pyrenees. Peregrinos will recognize the train station, streets, and bridge across the Nive as “Tom” collects his son’s pack and trekking clothes and determines to finish the Camino with his adult son's cremated remains in his pack.
Typically Camino: a gregarious gluttonous Dutchman with pot and pills for every occasion, a chain smoking Canadian woman with anger management issues, an Irish writer with a penchant for hyperbole and a father broken by regret and grief walk the same road and become pilgrims on a spiritual journey of which they had been unaware – one from estrangement, one from regret and fear, one from lost creativity, and one from a wife who no longer cared for his bulbous body.
More subtly, the mystical Camino weaves strands throughout – unexpected moments of reverence and faith restored, healing in shared pain, and unexplained encounters with those removed from our lives by death, but not lost. Comradery and comfort meet irritability and living rough against the beautiful backdrop of mountain and vineyards, brusque Basques and exquisite eccentricity. Tom leaves a trail of tears and ashes to Santiago and to his journey’s end at Muxia.
Whether you love the Camino, or a really good story, The Way is worth a viewing when it comes to a cinema near you.
I would like to point out the few things a film crew travelling the Camino by van could easily miss. No one who has walked from SJPP to Muxia believes four companions would travel each with 65 litre packs, plus external sleeping bags and mats, cartons of cigarettes, and a metal box of cremains, or even that they wore cotton denim jeans. Martin Sheen who was at the showing said they carried 40-60 pounds on set. Not over the Pyrenees for 900 kilometres they didn’t. After two weeks walking the Camino a Peregrino begins to look worn, and after three weeks of scrubbing clothes in stone sinks, the Peregrino looks decidedly shabby, stretched and faded. After 800 kilometres Camino butt is the standard derriere of a long distance walker, shrunk like a camel’s hump over many miles. You don’t need a credencial to know who has begun at Sarria, at Leone, at Burgos, or St. Jean.
But don’t let that bother you. The Camino shines through in all its glory. Ultreia!
Constance from Canada
 
Alas, my butt did not shrink. :( Oh well, I guess this means I have to do it all over again. :D

I hope they find an American distribution deal. I would love to see this movie in the theatres!

Kelly
 

Nandy61

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2010 CF StJPP to Santiago
2014 CF Leon to Santiago
2015 Primitivo
OMG! I howled at that post. Shrinking buttocks!! I lost so much weight (walked from StjPP) that my shorts would fall to my ankles as soon as I unbuckled the waste belt of my pack. Because there are so few mirrors around, i couldnt figure out why this was happening. I mean, obviously i was losing weight, but from where? When i would look down at myself i didnt seem to be that much thinner. It was only when I got home and looked at my backside in a full-length mirror did I discover the horrible truth -gluteous minimus! It wasn't a pretty sight! In fact, a camel's hump had more appeal.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctent ... s-t-1.html

'The Way' Puts 'Christian' Films to Shame
Emilio Estevez directs his dad, Martin Sheen, in a film about grief, love, faith, community

by Kenneth R. Morefield

(Editor's note: Ken Morefield is at the Toronto International Film Festival. This post originally appeared at his 1More Film Blog.)

I became acquainted with grief at a very young age. As a result, for significant periods of my childhood and even into young adulthood, I felt I knew something my peers didn’t. Now in middle age, I understand intellectually that more of my peers have had what is a very common life experience, but because of the experience of formative years, I’m still always surprised when the representation of grief in art–particularly art from those who are not yet in their twilight years–rings true.

There’s not a whole lot about Emilio Estevez’s The Way that doesn’t ring true. Given the fact that the film tackles some of life’s deepest emotions and largest themes–grief, love, faith, community–that’s quite a compliment.
Martin Sheen plays Tom Avery, an American ophthalmologist who receives word that his son has been killed while walking the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage trail in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain sometimes referred to as The Way of Saint James. Perhaps impulsively or perhaps in desperation, Tom decides to walk the pilgrims’ trail himself, to finish the journey his son began.

Obviously, such a role calls for an actor of immense talent, both to convey the depth and layers of feeling of a parent mourning his child and to eschew the more melodramatic histrionics that would cause such material to become overly and overtly sentimental. Sheen, one of our national acting treasures, is perfect for such a part, bringing it gravity but also dignity. I love that in introducing a movie about fathers and sons, rituals and traditions, Estevez chose to describe Sheen by borrowing from another famous director, John Huston, talking about his own father. “He never tried to sell you something.” The film needs that kind of iconic confidence at its center, because for long periods Tom, in his grief, goes inside himself, and the film must have the confidence to let him, to allow us to be one of the community with him, each broken in his or her own way, each striving for understanding, light, and hope.

Do you want to know one thing that is true about grief? Movies tend to think that what we remember and treasure in our hearts are the big gestures people make to acknowledge the hugeness of our loss. But that’s not the case. What stays with you are scores of small kindnesses from people that remind you that life is worth living, that in our sadness, our emptiness, and our poverty, most people can be very, very decent. “To be kind,” George MacDonald once wrote, “neither hurts nor compromises.” It may be the only thing that doesn’t.

Estevez talked rather self-effacingly at the Toronto International Film Festival of not directing his father, of surrounding himself with talented people and “getting out of the way.” He did direct, Sheen insisted. It’s easy enough to see how both descriptions are true. In a post-Cahiers film world, we take certain theories of auteurship for granted. Our picture of the director is of someone who, Hitchcock-like, plans and controls every detail of the film in his head. Estevez spoke of making a film about community by making a community, using natural light, shooting in Super 16 and making technical choices appropriate to the thematic content of the film. These are directorial decisions that shape the film and were appropriate, but the creation of a community of like-minded people pursuing a goal should not be underestimated. The care and compassion these people have for each other reaches beyond performance and says something about the material’s and location’s ability to affect actors and not just vice-versa. I wish he hadn’t used the device of having the father occasionally “see” his dead son, but–as one viewer stressed to me–that (hearing/seeing those who are absent) is an experience, hinted at by other characters in the film which is not uncommon to those who are grieving.

In circles in which I sometimes converse, there have been, for as long as I can remember, discussions about Christians in the art, about how to get more films that are faith friendly and about the corrosive moral effects of “Hollywood” or the “Hollywood culture.” Every now and then, though, I’ll run across a song like Leonard Cohen’s “If It Be Your Will” or a film like The Way, that not only puts “Christian” films to shame but that makes me exasperated at the whole notion of “Christian” as an identity politics genre. If you want more great Christian art, go find great artists and support them in their desire to speak, write, and represent the truth. Hollywood is made up of people–many of whom, it turns out, are more complex, interesting, and thoughtful than we might guess based on nothing more than a quick glimpse of their IMDB filmography.

One audience member at the Toronto Film Festival who had done this pilgrimage himself spoke glowingly of how the film’s latter scenes captured perfectly the experience of arriving in Santiago de Compostela. The Way is the first non-documentary film granted permission to film inside the church, and the scenes of the pilgrims arriving, how each responds to the rituals, to each other, and to the dawning realizations that they are neither the first nor the last to walk the path they’ve walked or bear the burdens they’ve borne, is as deeply moving and passionately spiritual a moment as you are likely to get in commercial, narrative film. You know what would be a little miracle that would make me happy? If Christians who wanted to “send Hollywood a message” with their pocketbooks would eschew boycotting the next “R” rated slezefest that gets them all tied up in knots and try the reverse for once. Pick up the phone and call your favorite studio and say, “I’ve got $10 and I really want to see this movie.”

Hey, it’s worth a try. Turns out The Way–here’s the kicker–doesn’t yet have a major distribution deal.

The Way is funny, sad, somber, and, above all, true. It is life-affirming in most of the best senses of the phrase. It’s easily one of my favorite films of the year thus far. If you get an opportunity to see it, seize it. You won’t be sorry. It you don’t, that’s okay, too, just so long as you promise not to complain that there’s nothing but sex and explosions at the multiplex these days
 
M

Maya2

Guest
Enjoying this thread. Everything from Martin Sheen (yes, I would jump into said freezing stream to save him, but would probably have to fight my way first through the mass of women all wanting to do the same thing) to shrinking buttocks! :lol:
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

I agree!!! the movie is an absolute MUST!!! :D ...Purely from what we all dream and live for - El Camino!!
I have seen it ............... will buy the DVD .. recomended!! :D
 

Kennedy1

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - May & June 2013
Camino Finisterre and Camino Muxia - June 2013
Purchased the DVD

I purchased the DVD from Amazon in the UK. It has not been shipped yet. I live in Canada. Will I have any problems with playing the DVD on my Canadian DVD player.
 

Kennedy1

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - May & June 2013
Camino Finisterre and Camino Muxia - June 2013
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

Thanks Miguel, you were correct. My DVD player will not play the DVD. I have cancelled the order and will try to order it from Amazon US.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

At a prime time show on Saturday, there were 11 in the theater that was showing "The Way."

That is a powerful indication that it will be on DVD very soon!
$110,418 (USA) (9 October 2011) (33 Screens)
At $3,346 per screen for the entire opening weekend, bit won't be in theaters long. If the 16 October 2011 numbers are not better, it will go straight to video. The Estevez/Sheen road trip has gotten a lot of publicity, but it does not seem to be effective.
 

Nandy61

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2010 CF StJPP to Santiago
2014 CF Leon to Santiago
2015 Primitivo
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

Saw the movie yesterday at the late afternoon show in downtown Boston. I think there were 15 of us in the theater. Firstly, I too noticed the grainy appearance in several scenes. Thought it rather bizarre, as it was not fuzzy throughout the film. I went to the film with 2 other Pilgrims and 2 wanna-be pilgrims. All of us enjoyed the film but there were some interesting comments. I started my Camino in StJPP so I totally enjoyed the scenery and could pick out and relate to many of the places in the film. The other two pilgs started in Leon and Sarria. There were very few places that they recognized in the film and they found that disappointing. They also recognized all the misrepresentations- the tight jeans, or jeans at all! The coffees right at your albergue (what? No walking for 6K for your first cafe con leche?) The Compostela scene.

The two aspiring pilgrims loved the movie, but they too were curious as to how a non-pilg or or non-aspiring pilg would relate to it. I thought the same. I felt that it dragged a bit in the middle and I think it might not appeal to people with no interest in the Camino. We all found ourselves tearing up throughout the movie (esp when Tom 'sees' his son) and were moved at the scene in the Cathedral. We also found ourselves laughing out loud. Interesting that all the gals HATED Sarah the Canadian. Both as a character within the script (though she was written to be unlikeable) and the actor who was cast as the character. Too plastic, harsh, phony. Too much makeup! In 800K I never came across anyone who even remotely resembled that woman. SHe didn't bug the one guy who came with us, (maybe it was the tight jeans and the boobs occasionally popping out of her v-neck shirt) but he did agree that she wasn't cast very well. One Pilg friend couldn't make it to the showing and wanted my opinion- theater or DVD. My overall opinion (and this is from someone who hasn't been in a movie theater for over ten years) is wait for the DVD.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

Week 2 in the U.S.:

Rank: 21 $250,734 102 screens $2,458 gross per screen $409,634 total to date

A drop in the per-screen box office is not a good sign for wider distribution!
 

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

I was surprised by how many people were in the theater when I saw it! It was probably half full! However many/most were older. There was a priest there with what looked to be a sizeable group. My worry for people who see this "cold" is that they will think, "Oh, if he can simply pick up a pack and do it, so can I." Ain't true. I don't think the physical demands of the Camino were presented much at all and they can stop you almost faster than anything else. But the transformative power of the Camino was certainly the focus of the film and I think they captured it.

I too teared up at the Cathedral--but then I had been in the Cathedral exactly two weeks earlier at the end of my second Camino. How come they got to come in through the big door and actually touch the Jesse Tree? Must have paid BIG bucks to the Cathedral (is that partly what funded the work going on right now??) for all the access they got!

And thank you for saying that you experienced the fuzziness. I thought it was just me or perhaps the theater equipment. Now I wonder about the DVD quality--I will still buy it! I was told Feb but even sooner would be even better!
 

Nandy61

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2010 CF StJPP to Santiago
2014 CF Leon to Santiago
2015 Primitivo
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

"I don't think the physical demands of the Camino were presented much at all and they can stop you almost faster than anything else"

I totally agree. My biggest "gripe" about the movie is that these two (Martin and Emilio) never walked it! If you read their interviews you'll find out that they had two weeks (after a family reunion in Ireland) and instead of attempting even 100K of the Camino, they rented a Mercedes and drove alongside it. A shame. One can only hope that one look at the distances/stages listed in any guidebook would give them pause. Especially Americans who walk so little.
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

Nandy61...I think they actually did more walking in the making of the movie than you might realize. Apparently Sheen carried a fairly heavy pack for most of the filming to to help him feel the character. The crew all carried their gear along the way for filming too. Sure there were vans and help but they really tried as much as practical to "make" a Camino out of this experience. I did have one wonder about blisters...didn't get to ask my question about that at the screening in the Philly area. A lot of kids from acting classes were there and asked a lot of "tech" questions. :roll: I really wondered about the chance to put their hands on the Tree of Jesse too...my other question...ah well, still got Emilio to sign my pack...the one that just came back from Santiago with me!! :D
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

The Tree of Jesse is pretty well blocked at the moment, but the railing around it never stopped late evening and early morning pilgrims!
 

Debinq

Active Member
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

Jesse Tree untouchable now? That be a shame and for me would detract from the entire experience of getting to the cathedral ... (and tapping forehead against the statue of the cathedral's architect) The realisation that there have been 100s of 1000s of hands touching the tree before me, truly made me feel part of the pilgrim tradition in a physical sense ...but I suppose the combined effect of 100.000s of acidic palms ain't good for the granite from a conservation p o v .... a case of 'loving something to death' if there ever was one!
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

The pundits here think it won't open again as the erosion it so significant they want to preserve what is left. Some say there are experiments with a protective layer...we'll see.
 

Debinq

Active Member
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

When I touched it (Oct 06) the erosion was at least 3-4cm deep (altho' my hand wouldn't fit in snugly, me being a 'large unit' and all...) The area around it was also very dark, polished and worn looking, I recall. It made me wonder whether the majority of pilgrims through the ages had been right-handed - the 'wear out' seemed to suggest that.

Anyway I here's to hoping application of a protective layer will help preserve it - maybe they should also start selling white cotton take-home gloves as a way to help its conservation! [The marketing potential for all sorts of tacky wording printed on the back of the glove springs to mind -I've been in Jesse' tree- in Latin perhaps ?!] No doubt a 'sea to drink from' for copywriters! Do I hear any groans of dismay? or shrieks of horror? :wink:
 

Abbeydore

Veteran Member
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

Personally I hope not to see this film until after my Camino next April, who thinks that's a bad/good idea :D
 

Nandy61

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2010 CF StJPP to Santiago
2014 CF Leon to Santiago
2015 Primitivo
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

Abbeydore said:
Personally I hope not to see this film until after my Camino next April, who thinks that's a bad/good idea :D

I'm not sure it matters as I don't think it conveys the full Camino experience- which is so much deeper. My wanna-be pilg friends really enjoyed it; it only made them more keen to start planning their trip.
 

Telluridewalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (1988)
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

Abbeydore said:
Personally I hope not to see this film until after my Camino next April, who thinks that's a bad/good idea :D

I'm just worried that if the film doesn't get some momentum (at least here in the US), this will be the last week or two it will be on a big screen- so if you wait you may have to settle for the DVD version. :cry:
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

As has been said before I think this is a short run film. It just doesn't have the commercial appeal nor in my view enough of a depiction of the transformative power of the camino for some people. Pilgrims however will watch it for a long time to come on DVD.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

Martin and Emilio were on the Ellen DeGeneres show on Tuesday, October 18. That will reach a lot of potential movie-goers in the U.S.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

A good weekend for "The Way":
Oct 7–9 $110,418 - 33 theaters - $3,346 per screen $110,418 total
Oct 14–16 $250,734 +127% 102 theaters $2,458 per screen $409,634 total
Oct 21–23 - $506,522 +108% 283 theaters $1,841 per screen $1,019,837 total
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

We went to the first showing (11:20 Friday) here a few days ago. Somewhere around Burgos it turned upside down and backwards. They assembled the pieces wrong.

They gave us passes and told us to come back for the next showing.. Talking to the few other people who went to the showing, they all thought it was a good movie, and would return to finish it. No one else had done the route. A few were there because of Basque ancestry.

It was pretty sappy and a bit irritating at times, but we sure enjoyed picking out the sites. The sap didn't bring tears to my eyes, but the scenery did.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

Week 4: Oct 28–30 -$358,000 -29.3%; screens 253 -30; per screen $1,415; total $1,610,000
The number of screens dropped. The gross per screen dropped. It won't be around much longer in the U.S.!
 

Abbeydore

Veteran Member
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

JohnnieWalker said:
As has been said before I think this is a short run film. It just doesn't have the commercial appeal nor in my view enough of a depiction of the transformative power of the camino for some people. Pilgrims however will watch it for a long time to come on DVD.


& that surely is a good thing :)
 
M

Maya2

Guest
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

I saw "The Way" a couple weeks ago in the States. I enjoyed it and will be buying the DVD when available at Amazon (you can sign up at Amazon to be notified when they have it). Sadly, there were only about a dozen people at the film, despite the efforts to reach the masses.

But not one mention of blisters or bed bugs, which seem to be the main topics around the albergues. And Martin Sheen isn't a "Boomer," but maybe he played younger?

Overall, enjoyed the scenery and the storyline. Loved the ending!
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

The number of screens dropped again:

Week 5: Nov 4–6 -$360,000 +0.6% 224 theaters -29 $1,607 per screen $2,149,000 total

There will be some Canadian box office, too, since it opened there this weekend.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

The guy who runs our little community cinema told me that The Way had been one of his biggest draws in a long time, and he is going to hold it over for a third week. For him it was a godsend to get a movie with a mainstream popular actor that didn't go to the cineplexes, it brought all sorts of people who never go to an "art" theater to check it out. So Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez, you did our struggling little place a very good deed.

I remember several people commenting that The Way seemed fuzzy, and what I heard before the showing may explain it -- that this movie was shot on film and released on film, not shot digitally. Apparently, it is likely to be one of the last film films, because "Hollywood" has ordained that all movies must be released digitally starting in a year or so. At least that's what our cinema guy told us before the movie.

I have seen it twice, once with a friend who walked the Camino and the second time with my husband and a bunch of friends who haven't. The first time we couldn't resist the "oh come on" reactions to the gypsy scene, to the fact that these guys mainly wore blue jeans, and to the fact that if Spanish cops hauled into jail people whose disorderly conduct was on the level of Martin Sheen's the streets of Spain would be empty every Sunday morning when I start walking and the Saturday night party-ers are just emptying out of the discotecas.

But the second time, I found I was just happy to enjoy the scenery, the plot, the characters and it was all in all a much more enjoyable experience. Once again, the Camino tries to teach me to leave my judgmental criticism parked outside.
 

jirit

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007,
Via Francigena Italy, 2008,
Jakobsweg Austria 2010,
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Future:
Ökumenischer (Via Regia), Germany,
Lycian Way, Turkey
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

You might describe the Way as a modern day Wizard of Oz tale of discovery. It proceeds along at a pedestrian pace with gentle twists and turns as this motley crew of four transverses northern Spain in search of redemption and salvation. You will not find action packed cinematography filled with violence and high tech wizardry. Instead, the movie portrays that time-honored importance of good storytelling that seems to be so lacking in most Hollywood style movies.

The Way is a simple story of a grieving father coming to terms with the loss of his only son - a father who ultimately honors his son’s wishes by walking the Camino de Santiago on his behalf. It is a film for all ages and I highly recommend you see it.

The movie The Way opened up in Toronto and Vancouver November 4th and will open in other major cities in Canada November 11th.

You can read more of my review at:
http://littlegreentracs.typepad.com/my_ ... e-way.html
 

Arn

Veteran Member
Re: Review of the Martin Sheen movie

It's only Two weeks since I was in Santiago and two hours since I saw The Way.
This was an afternoon showing and there were 10 folks in the theater.
For the first time in awhile, you could have heard a pin drop...well, except for my sniffles.
First sniffle, SJPDP and recognizing Martin was going the wrong Way. This is the perfect time for the first sniffle.
Seeing Emilio show up along the Way and finally in the Cathedral...several sniffles.
I tried to not be critical of the misplaced or plastic. Afterall, I never complained when the young lady from Hungary dropped her red thong outside Burgos. I did return it!

I would recommend it though I was more deeply moved by the movie "the Way, Within, Without" which Sil recommended to me before I walked the CF in 2008.
I sniffled through the entire movie.

There will most likely be an increase in the
American pilgrims, especially among the significant numbers of college-aged youth that had private showings.

Buen Camino
Arn
 

archibas

New Member
I was very disappointed in "The Way". I looked forward to seeing the beautiful landscapes along the Camino Frances, and depictions of a pilgrims daily routine. The cinematography was grey, grainy, and dull. Lots of close up shots of irritating people, with a Spanish landscape barely shown. Too bad.
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
I'm totally mistified by all these "grainy" references. I got home (Marbella, for now at least)from S de C yesterday morning early to find my copy of The Way waiting for me. I could hardly wait to wade through the backlog that 5 days away had built up, but finally managed to sit and enjoy. It was odd to see the inside of the cathedral that hours before I had actually been sitting in!
But the copy I have (and the original Spanish version I saw in cinemas) is pefectly fine. Not a grain in sight!
Strange.
One thing I did notice was that the politically objectionable bits of the Basque hospitalera's conversation have been omitted in this DVD. Will be interested to see if they are still in the Spanish one when it becomes available next month.
In the meantime, it still had me pretty choked up in places and I love the bordon-twirling scene!
One to see many times.
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
 

Telluridewalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (1988)
Just got back from seeing The Way- it was hard to watch the movie without turning to the person next to me to say, "I've been there, I stayed there, I walked there" etc. So instead I'm turning to my fellow forum members... :)

I saw the movie in Denver in a cinema with about 100 other people (good turnout, I thought) although the ticket seller told me the movie wasn't drawing huge crowds.

I personally liked the part about the crazy refugio keeper, el Ramon, because (again), I stayed there! (Ramon Sostres' house/refugio in Torres Del Rio-was that episode covered in Jack Hitt's book?) Does anyone else remember that place?

Go see The Way if you can.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
The number of screens dropped by 29, then another 53:

Week 5: Nov 4–10 $509,995 -5.1%
Screens: 224 -29
Per screen: $2,277
Total box office: $2,298,955

No Canadian box office report yet.

Week 6: Nov 11–13 $331,884 -8.0%
Screens: 171 -53
Per Screen: $1,941
Total box office: $2,630,839
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
We missed it when it came to our local cinema but our DVD of 'The Way' arrived yesterday. We started watching it last night. Great so far. Looking forward to seeing Santiago as we haven't walked the Francés, although Terry did join it at Melide.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
"The Way" is in only 101 theaters across the U.S. now. So far, the box office receipts in Canada have not been reported, but the total gross in the U.S. is $3,374,493 after eight weeks. You can preorder the DVD at Amazon for its release date on February 21, 2012 (U.S.).
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Just watched the dvd. I loved it even if it wasn't realistic time to time : the carefree walking ( no sweat and pain...), the anomalies in places / timeframe. But all in all a nice pic, got me smiling.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
We have second stage blastoff: the number of theaters has grown to 160 from 101. Total gross is up to $3,642,348, ranking it #157 for movies in the last 365 days just ahead of #158 "The King's Speech." "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" holds the #1 spot.
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
I'm sure I'm not alone in wondering what these figures mean. How much did they spend making the film and what is the profit margin related to ticket sales? How do these compare to similar low budget movies? The big question is how many people see it and how that converts to pilgrims - solo dios sabe!
 

miguel_gp

Veteran Member
No. 46 in the Sainsburys (UK grocery store ) DVD chart today. Hopefully my 2 purchases as Christmas presents will push it to No 45 next week :D.

Maybe a 3D (or 4D version as per theme park attractions, where you could experience the wind, rain, sun, heat, dust, smells, snoring vibrations etc.) would push it up the charts!
 

Millie Mochila

New Member
I havent seen this film yet; it seems it's worth seeing.

What is not so good is the commercial corruption that tags on. It seems that this guy Estevez has now linked up with a Travel/Adventure comany to offer guided tours on some camino , probably the Frances.

I think all this cheapens the experience, but it seems that anything can be sold to the gullible. Such commerce reduces the camino to a nice trek. :roll: Which it is of course.
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Millie Mochila said:
I havent seen this film yet; it seems it's worth seeing.

What is not so good is the commercial corruption that tags on. It seems that this guy Estevez has now linked up with a Travel/Adventure comany to offer guided tours on some camino , probably the Frances.

I think all this cheapens the experience, but it seems that anything can be sold to the gullible. Such commerce reduces the camino to a nice trek. :roll: Which it is of course.

I do feel " commercial corruption " is too strong a description. For some people a guided tour can be a first tentative manner to get a feel for the Camino. Not everyone feels ok ( for various reasons )with organising a Camino themselves. Being a peregrino , I think, has more to do with your mindset and intentions.
There is no wrong and there is no right regarding this theme...
 

Millie Mochila

New Member
I understand your point of view, Sabine. Thank you.

But I really dont like the selling for cash an experience like a camino. To me that is corrupt. Many people will not have the confidence to do a camino -this is true. But the point is to overcome difficulties and succeed, or fail with learning. In modern times doing a camino couldnt be easier - the easiest it has ever been in the history of this pilgrimage.

That is the point of pilgrimage - to find a way thru problems.. To buy your way out of that is a mistake, which is the buyer's loss.

Money cant buy you love, or a pilgrimage worth the name.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
The booster rocket fizzled; the number of theaters has dropped to 120. Total U.S. gross is $3,836,967. There is only one "art" theater in my area showing it.

The DVD release in the U.S. is scheduled for February 21, 2012, so it will miss the Christmas season. That may be a bad strategic move. By next Christmas, everyone will have forgotten about it.
 

jirit

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007,
Via Francigena Italy, 2008,
Jakobsweg Austria 2010,
Camino Frances 2011,
Le Puy to Lourdes 2012,
Via de la Plata 2013,
Future:
Ökumenischer (Via Regia), Germany,
Lycian Way, Turkey

tomfriesen

New Member
I watched "The Way" within 24 hours of arriving back in Canada from walking the Spanish part of the Camino Portuguese to Santiago, then serving as a hospitalero in Salamanca for the last half of November and ending by attending the Hospitalero Annual Gathering in Seville.
I was very interested in the movie because every Spanish pilgrim friend and/or hospitalero whom had seen it, hated the movie.
As I watched the movie (when I wasn't distracted by the former pilgrim behind me who had to point out the areas of reality or unreality she experienced to her companion), I had my Spanish friends' viewpoint in mind.
I believe that everyone's Camino is different and the movie does succeed with the motivations for walking, the transformations that can occur, the relationships you can form and the beauty of the Spanish countryside and architecture.
However my view is that the Camino is Spain's (and to a lesser degree France's) gift to the world and their strong sense of hospitality is what makes it so possible and successful in transforming hikers, tourists and cyclists into pilgrims. If you watch the way the Spanish hospitaleros are portrayed, you see crouchy, crazy, drunken, grasping, poor cooks which is 180 degrees of my experiece. I am sure I gasped out loud when the Spanish police threw the pilgrims down the stairs. I am aware of the need to create drama and break stereotypes. However, when the only positive Spanish characters in the movie are a Basque and a Gypsy, you could not poke a stick in the Spanish people's eyes any better than that.
 

julianeb

New Member
I have seen the movie twice in theaters, once with my hubby, and once with hubby and our 2 sons. My husband has been working in the Pyrenees for about 18 mos. and found out about the camino from people he works with. I was thrilled to find out about the movie. We enjoyed it both times we saw it. It is now being shown on flights from the US to Europe.

I have not walked the camino but even I know that you don't just pick up a pack and start walking, not a road that goes through the Pyrenees. So I had to suspend my disbelief for that aspect. I wondered and still wonder what the exact cause of death was for Tom's son...I think he actually fell over one of the cliffs but hubby says it may have been exposure b/c the corpse was not banged up. But film makers can do as they wish. Does anyone have an opinion as to that?

Next, you don't get the cremated remains of the person immediately after the cremation. "Tom" was sitting there in the waiting room as if it had been about an hour since the body was cremated...I think it takes at least a few days. And they don't give you a nice box for free.

Since the Tom character was a Christmas/Easter Catholic, I guess he might not have known that it is against Church teaching to scatter ashes...We are to treat the body with respect and bury the ashes or put them in a columbarium. We are not allowed to scatter ashes at sea or God forbid, turn them into jewelry or keep them on the mantelpiece. Or hand them out to each surviving child. If Tom had talked to that priest he encountered, Father might have told him to stop leaving bits of his son's remains along the trail and instead have him interred properly somewhere either on the trail or back home in CA. That bothered me, because non-Catholics might think it's acceptable for Catholics to scatter, but not a huge detraction.

We all wondered why the film didn't show any of the problems that would happen to normal people, let alone an out of shape middle aged man...Maybe they filmed blister-popping scenes and then cut them out because they were boring. No one could believe the smoking, bitter, skinny and hateful woman character, or the Jack character, both of whom were drawn much too broadly. How could someone who chain smokes ever even make it up from SJPDP to Roncevalles??? We just drove part of that road yesterday and it's not easy even by car!!

Anyway, back to the movie...I loved the scenes where Tom would see his son...I know it's a device but I think it worked really well for this movie. Couldn't figure out just exactly what he did that was so egregious as to get him arrested at the restaurant...but that was mostly to make a point about Jack having access to a credit card. Well, if I pick every last point apart, I will have nothing left.

Funny, anyone I know who has had something stolen by a gypsy has never gotten it back...nor been invited to a gypsy party as compensation...But I did like the gypsy dad's strictness.

Why was the Jack character crying in the pew once he made it to the Cathedral? I thought it didn't really fit except if you saw that character as somewhat bipolar and off his nut...

After the 2nd time we went, I was in the ladies' room and overheard a family group discussing the movie....One of them stated, "I wonder if that road is real..." I told them it most certainly IS real, and many people walk it every year, but not usually without training for it. They were amazed at that...I had to laugh, that they thought it was all fiction, but then, 18 mos. ago, I didn't know El Camino existed either!

I would give the movie 5 stars out of 5. The little elements I found out of place were not troubling enough to downgrade it. And I am a picky movie viewer, I go to the theater once every few years because I HATE Hollywood films.
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
julianeb said:
I have seen the movie twice in theaters, once with my hubby, and once with hubby and our 2 sons. ..... It is now being shown on flights from the US to Europe.

I have not walked the camino ........

How could someone who chain smokes ever even make it up from SJPDP to Roncevalles??? We just drove part of that road yesterday and it's not easy even by car!!

Why was the Jack character crying in the pew once he made it to the Cathedral? I thought it didn't really fit except if you saw that character as somewhat bipolar and off his nut...

Hola Julianeb!

Ok, your honest, you haven't actually walked the Camino. Yet.

Funny thing is that most of what happens on the film, does happen. Maybe not all to the same person or group of people, but they happen. I walked with smokers of all ages (Which drove me mad, as I wheezed and fished by my inhalers!) And crying...along the way...oh it happens!! To men, to women and sometimes at the strangest moments. Sometimes it's simply a beautiful kindness at a totally unexpected moment. A handful of cherries from a farmer, a comb from a fellow pilgrim, after a week without one, a tiny tiny bottle of conditioner after a month sans! Crying after weeks and weeks on the road and finally achieving your goal...that's easy! My single quibble was probably the fact that they were all in jeans. I walked with someone who wore jeans, but he was the only one.

You made my day though, seeing that it's showing on flights. What a terrific film to cross the Atlantic too.

Let us know when you hit the road and how it strikes you! Buen Camino! (Heck hearing those words for the first time being applied to me, as a pilgrim brought me to tears!) :oops: :D
 

Telluridewalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (1988)
julianeb said:
I wondered and still wonder what the exact cause of death was for Tom's son...I think he actually fell over one of the cliffs but hubby says it may have been exposure b/c the corpse was not banged up. But film makers can do as they wish. Does anyone have an opinion as to that?

I've wondered a bit about that too, which the filmmakers deliberately left vague. I noticed in Neil Kirby's documentary (see other thread) that on the way up from St. Jean Pied de Port he mentions a female walker who died recently (no firm date given but I think he walked in 2010) on the Camino in the Pyrenees. I wonder if her story, however the filmmakers came across it, was the genesis for the film. (While Neil was telling that story, the camera was focussed on a stone cross/headstone along the route with a South American male's name on it- it showed a deceased date of 2002 but also showed (Peregrino- 1994)- was his body brought to the Camino for burial? did he move to Spain after completing the Camino?) I also thought I saw (again, in the video, I didn't walk this section myself) a lot of crosses, memorials, headstones, scattered across the hillside on the way up from France- so I don't think the movie's starting conceit is far-fetched in the least.

Part of me (the former police detective :) ) wants to solve the mystery of the source of the story. But another part of me (the peregrino, I suppose) is content to let it be. We who have this fascination with the Camino want to know EVERYTHING about it: read all the books, see all the pictures, know all the stories (and the internet is making such an undertaking even more possible these days). But such a huge part of the Camino is the lore, the mystery, the unknown, the unknowable.

As the original poster wrote, best not to pick the movie (or the Camino? or life?) apart too too much, or else you'll have nothing left.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
5 April 2007, a pilgrim died from hypothermia on the route from St. Jean to Roncesvalles. He was traveling with two others, but in the intense fog they became separated, and he went the wrong way - was found lying down in waist deep snow, alive, but died as he reached the hospital in Pamplona. Rescue was hampered by fog and snow. Every few years pilgrims die on this route due to cold and exposure, some in March or April.
Millionaire pilgrim killed by snowstorm in Pyrenees

By Duncan Gardham and Fiona Govan in Madrid

12:01AM BST 10 Apr 2007

The millionaire boss of a City investment fund has died from exposure while on holiday in the Pyrenees after getting caught in a freak snowstorm.

Chris Phillips, 50, was walking the 480-mile Pilgrims' Way to Santiago de Compostela in Spain alone when he was caught in freezing conditions and forced to spend the night in the mountains.

Two walkers who also spent the night in the open raised the alarm the next morning but Mr Phillips had wandered from the path. By the time rescue teams found him several hours later, he was suffering from hypothermia.

Mr Phillips had resigned as chief executive of the investment arm of Scottish Widows. He was on a five-week holiday before taking up a job with Morley Fund Management.

Officials in Spain said he had left the French village of St Jean Pied de Port on Tuesday morning to cross the border into Spain.
And a photo by Anniethenurse of the memorial to Jean-Paul, the Dutch pilgrim who died in February, 2009, can be found in this thread:
el-camino-frances/topic7277.html
 
M

mikevasey

Guest
This link basically backs up what Falcon has just posted.
http://www.csj.org.uk/faqs.htm#winter

I went over from SJPDP on the 27th October 2010, the weather was perfect, if anything it was too hot. I met a North American couple about a week later who went over two days ahead of me. They were caught out in a storm near the the top, their ponchos were ripped to shreds by the high winds and rain. To top that off they got lost in the descending gloom. If they had not stumbled on to a farmhouse and got shelter there it could have been a lot worse for them.

**************************************************
just went to his blog and pulled his video of that day, it starts off with him filming the early part of it, then he stops and only starts again at the farmhouse http://youtu.be/KgfGKRiSKEs
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
I watched the film last night (you can get it on Ebay now) ... I realised that I was watching it as if it were a documentary ... places in the wrong order, bathroom in the wrong place in Roncevaux, off-route Eunate in the distance and so on, and was looking out for utter realism, the true tiredeness, the foot problems, the shedding of items (crikey, their packs were big!), the other pilgrims, queuing for bathrooms and so on - so stopped the film and started it from the beginning again and watched it as a film.

The thing is, this is a film about transformation, and it uses the Camino as the vehicle - it isn't a documentary or a travel guide!

I loved it, absolutely loved it. I thought that the Dutch man was outstanding, his ability to display thoughts and emotions with subtle facial expressions ... marvellous. The Irish actor? Not too sure, just seemed to overplay it a little to me (though to be fair I have met similar on the Camino). The Canadian woman was rather good I thought as the necessary harshness and rudeness was there so that the inner pain could be revealed later ... I loved it, and shall watch it again tonight.

The only problem I really had with it was, well, they just walked too fast, all the time too fast! I wanted to shout at the screen - slow down, look at the view, but then again, I think it was to show that the father was driven as they did slow down later on .... but the inner transformation of all of them really got to the heart of the Camino experience I thought.

When you watch it yourself who will you identify with? For me, as both a parent and a son, it was with the father - lord, I cried at times.
I loved it.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Just watched it for the second time - and here is the thing, you have to watch it more than once! I loved it.
Now the characters appear 'just right' and, there are other pilgrims, and their packs aren't too big, and they do massage their feet, and they do get tired, and they go through the Camino experience, opening their hearts and are transformed ..... it is just perfect, but you have to watch it more than once, trust me, buy a copy on Ebay and watch it more than once.

I loved it - and shall watch it again tomorrow night :wink:
 

markss

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances from SJPP (3/10 & 10/10); Primitivo (6/12)
David,

Your perspective is great! This is a film meant to appeal to a wider audience then merely a documentary for those intimately familiar with the Camino. In that respect and in my own opinion it succeeds.

I also find insight and good humour in the evolving comments that you offer after successive reviewings of the film. It's clear ... you get it!

C'mon people. This is a $5.0 million labor of love that lost money for the producers, not some $200.0 million Hollywood extravaganza that offers perfectness in every detail!

See it for what it is worth and enjoy!
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
I enjoyed it. Twice!
Just have a chuckle to yourself when you see the things which seem a bit "unreal", and enjoy it for what it is, a positive little movie.
Buen Camino
Col
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Watched it for the third time last night. Watching it the second time I came to realise even more that something serious was being said, that the film had something to say about the human condition.

I watch films at home in darkness, not wanting any distractions, wanting the screen to be the only thing that I see and this third time I adjusted my tv and removed all colour. I thought that to make it a monochrome film would be to remove all but the essentials from the film - making it an 'art' film, in the European sense, though Woody Allen also makes use of black and white filming.

With colour stripped away one can also see how good the camera man and director are - in this case they are quite brilliant. The actors also have nowhere to hide, they connect with you or they fail. The actors connect.

For me it was quite stunning - the slightest nuances in expressions leaped out of the screen .. viewing it this way in some way allowed more of a direct transfer... for me it became even more deeply moving.

Another aspect of watching this way is that people are no longer 'in' a landscape, they become the landscape, the whole becomes a flow, from close ups to distance shots, from silence to argument, a flow.
I absolutely love this film.

If you don't own a copy I really do recommend buying one. :wink:
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Yes, I've now watched it three times and enjoyed it each time. Someone on another forum sometime ago however wondered if the film might have been different had they all walked the camino for real before making it. I don't know - expressing insight is the artist's talent. What do you think?
 

viajero

Active Member
I liked the film. I also appreciate that they are filmmakers. In films about astronauts, the film makers do not go to the moon before they make they film. Filmmakers do not go on a killing spree before making a crime flick so I'm perfectly fine with them not having walked the Camino first. It might have been a different film had they walked the camino, but I don't think it necessarily holds that it would be a better film.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
It is a good question. I think the same as Viajero - actors act of course ... they would read the script, do their research, get into the role, and then wait for the director to direct them. I think that there may have been a difference had Emilio walked the Camino before finalising the script and formulating his vision of how the film should be .. but then .... he is also an actor ...

When Dustin Hoffman had to be tortured in the Running Man by Laurence Olivier as the Nazi Doctor he stayed awake for two nights so that he would be truly haggard and distraught during the filming. Afterwards he told Laurence what he had done. Laurence smiled and replied "but, my dear boy, why didn't you just act it?"

I like their rawness, their walking with their own baggage as their world perspective and how they are changed along the Way - the Camino experience itself, surely. The thing is, I suppose, is that they did do the Camino, in their own way. As we all know, there is a vast difference in perspective between a first-timer and a veteran .... I am content.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004.SJPP-SdC-Finisterre)(1998-2012 completed in sections). Norte (2006.122km) Inglés (2009)
I saw "The Way" on Friday night at a church gathering. It was projected on to the wall so it was visually somehwere between a plasma TV and a cinema screen in size. The churches PA system was not capable of carrying the sound as crisply as we needed.

However, I was blown away by the film.

David is right to draw our attention to the fact it is not a documentary. During the interval several people asked me, would they really carry that much weight and would they walk that fast? They already knew the answer even though they were all non pilgrims. Did it distract them from the story? No.

When you have to take what for me was a 34 day journey and get it down to 2 hours there are bound to be "flaws".

The genius of the film is its emotional complexity and it's truthfulness. If we could see ourselves as others do we might be horrified to find we are not the wonderful pilgrim companions that we think we are. The joy of the Camino is how others let us walk with them despite the fact that we annoy and irritate them as much as they do us. The Camino is how we grow in acceptance of others as they really are. We do not have to wear a mask when we journey to St James.

Great acting requires exaggeration to get the character across and while James Nesbit drove me to distraction with his over exhuberance, I was left in no doubt where he was coming from. It wasn't just the creative block; the truth is that he had settled for a regular pay check and good enough writing to keep body and soul together. He had settled for a comfortable existance rather than experiencing poverty to write the great novel. He stands in contrast with Daniel who dies rather than be merely living.

Life belongs to those who do not fear to lose it.

In 2010 I met a lady peregrina who walked from Seville to Santiago to Finisterre. Speaking perfect Spanish she had managed to keep her hair done and her make up on. Spain does have hair dressers and shops that sell toiletries. If you speak the language then staying well groomed is not difficult.

I loved the way that Martin Sheen's stubble was allowed to grow.

Would you not save a rucksack if it was the last possession of your only son? And had its ashes in it?

The only friendly Spanish policeman I have met was off duty. On duty they are officious, effective and distant. Professional. Their disinterest in Tom's apology rang true.

The film was grainy in places. If you have ever shot home video in natural light you would have had the same problems as on the film. Better that than all the false Hollywood lighting and make up.

The film tied to be authentic to the Camino experience. Though not without fault it suceeded.

But David was right. The Camino is the back drop to an emotional and spiritual story. I too felt, oh, yes, I remember that, but what struck me was the emotions it stirred up in me.

I grieved while watching the square in Pamplona where my father and I had sat one sunny day in May 1998 before he came home, having had to give up after three days because of illness. I felt again the pain of his dying in 2010. The brief shot of Tosantos (wrongly placed in the film) where the wonderful memory of the worship, the community meal and the company of pilgrims sitting outside the nearby bar, brought a lump to my throat.

This film pushed buttons in me, but they were spiritual, emotional and not technical.

Time and again I felt homesick as the scenes passed by as they reminded me of my 8 pilgrimages along the Camino. Emotions of joy, pain and laughter were time and again brought into my life as I travelled with these pilgrims.

I had gone wanting an emotional and spiritual experience, not to see a documentary where everything was got right. The Way did not disappoint.

I have walked parts of the Camino with my father and my eldest son. I have precious memories that Tom could have shared with Daniel. I am proundly grateful that though I shared only 3 days with my father and 10 days with my son, we have walked the Camino together. Tom did not share the Camino with Daniel, instead he did what others have done, walked it in his stead and in so doing drawn nearer to a loved one who was lost.

The final scene of Tom walking through an African bazaar with the scallop shell round his neck was one of the most emotionally powerful pieces of cinema I have seen in a long time. In a few short seconds it spoke of a man whose life has irrevocabley changed. And changed for the better.

If you have read all of this, thank you.
 

markss

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances from SJPP (3/10 & 10/10); Primitivo (6/12)
This film will undoubtedly give some people incentive to walk the Camino. Wonder if in addition there will be those who get the thought of taking ash remains of a loved one, or alternatively having thier own ashes after their death, spread along the Camino.

If ever you see someone on the Camino who appears a little on the cranky side, running ahead of companions and carrying a little silver box...!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004.SJPP-SdC-Finisterre)(1998-2012 completed in sections). Norte (2006.122km) Inglés (2009)
I actually talked to my mother and sister about carrying my fathers ashes and scattering them, but they said, no.

My father's greatest disappointment was not to finish the Camino he started in 1998.

He also asked for his ashes to be scattered in his beloved Yorkshire Dales and that has to be respected.

Mine however I want scattered in Hornillos del Camino. It would be nice if they were carried there on foot from SJPP, but if not I would still be happy if they could be scattered there. The monument outside the refugio has a nice flower bed and it looks a perfect resting place. I have always stopped on the four occasions I have travelled through Hornillos to pray for the soul of the young man whose name is on the monument. Like James he travlled to another land to proclaim the good news of Jesus and I honour him for that.

Whether it could be arranged is another matter.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Put me in your will, Methodist-pilgrim - I will carry them to Hornillos for you, from St. Jean .. though, our generation gap, you might have to carry mine! (but for me not to Hornillos). :wink:

That was a quite wonderful review!

"The genius of the film is its emotional complexity and it's truthfulness. If we could see ourselves as others do we might be horrified to find we are not the wonderful pilgrim companions that we think we are. The joy of the Camino is how others let us walk with them despite the fact that we annoy and irritate them as much as they do us. The Camino is how we grow in acceptance of others as they really are. We do not have to wear a mask when we journey to St James."

Perfect. Thank you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004.SJPP-SdC-Finisterre)(1998-2012 completed in sections). Norte (2006.122km) Inglés (2009)
David, thank you for your kind offer. :D

Given my health complaints the age gap between us might not be as great as you think!

Biologically my inside is 10 years older than my outside. :shock:

However, I doubt if either of us is planning to take the final journey just yet so I won't rush to change the will, but I will let my wife know how to contact you!

I was hoping to get on the forum a bit more often of late but seeing the Way made me realise how I had been neglecting getting here. Will try to call a bit more often. Now off to celebrate my birthday in some way.

ps - a very important ps - where for you?
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Ha! mentally my mind fifty years younger than it really is! :lol:

Yes, the film has had a similar effect on me - I'm walking again when I can, strengthening those legs - just in case!

Ashes? Me? Back to the sea. The end of the world, Finisterre or perhaps Eunate, blessed Eunate.

Actually, this might make a good thread ......
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
I bought a DVD copy - even though I had seen the movie - I can watch it over and over again looking for familiar spots along the Camino Frances - really love the charater of the Dutch Chap.
 

max44

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
13th April 2013 leaving. SJPDP via Rome
After the movie, watch the commentary version. They mention that blisters etc were covered, however, they had to cut the movie down.
Bed bugs were not as bad as some people made out, so it wasn't covered.
The mats and packs were fine. Not too big for that colder time of year with sleeping out.

I loved the movie. It's about transforming lives rather than a documentary on the Camino.

Yes, I would carry my son's ashes. Somewhere higher it was commented you wouldnt do that because of the weight.
I understand there have been a few deaths on the camino.
I was wondering why you bum muscles reduce in size? rather than firm up?
 

max44

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
13th April 2013 leaving. SJPDP via Rome
I wonder if anyone can help me. There are two bridges i cant find from the movie.
1) When the local police officer gave Tom a stone, Tom then walks over a wooden bridge.
2) Tom lets his pack fall from a bridge. The commentary said it was "off" camino, but not far.
3) The "hotel" where Tom has his backpack stolen
4) A gate where the gipsy son hands Tom his backpack after carrying for him. At the edge of town.

I wonder if anyone knows the google map location so i can look at it and add to my trip there

Thanks :)
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
max44 said:
I wonder if anyone can help me...............
2) Tom lets his pack fall from a bridge. The commentary said it was "off" camino, but not far.
4) A gate where the gipsy son hands Tom his backpack after carrying for him. At the edge of town.

Think I can help with two points of interest.

The bridge where Tom lets his pack fall ( Acting was a little obvious , bit like a footballer taking a dive.) - This looks like is was at the entrance to Zubiri which is on the Camino and if you walk the Camino Frances , you will come across it in the first few days.

The gate was at the end of the park in Burgos. This park is to be found just after the Camino crosses the river at the end of town. The old Municipal Albergue was in the middle of this park , a group of three or four prefabrecated wooden huts - one still survives. The Camino no longer goes through the park though it is no detour really - use the pedestrian crossing. I think it is a much better option and there are many picknick areas as well - the park also has potable fountains.
 

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The bridge in SJPdP is a smaller bridge just up the river from the one everyone else uses! I suspect the cinematographer just liked the second bridge better. All the streets eventually connect.

The scene where the pack was stolen was in the main square of Burgos, in the restaurant across from the cathedral, the Bonfin or Don Nuno perhaps. I don't think it was any hotel.
 

Bozzie

Continuing to walk my camino daily. Blessings!
Camino(s) past & future
2012/2016
methodist.pilgrim.98 said:
I saw "The Way" on....

The final scene of Tom walking through an African bazaar with the scallop shell round his neck was one of the most emotionally powerful pieces of cinema I have seen in a long time. In a few short seconds it spoke of a man whose life has irrevocabley changed. And changed for the better.

If you have read all of this, thank you.

Thank you for sharing your lovely assessment, as well as your story. I do believe that this sacred experience, whether one is religious, spiritual, or neither, changes those who experience it in some way or another. Even if one walks away not feeling the change, it will eventually bubble up.
God speed, Pilgrim! and Buen Camino!!
 

garrymc5

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003, 2005, 2007 2010
It is fair apparent that the storyline is repackaged Wizard of Oz', with companions Tinman, Lion etc.

It is a very tame movie, pleasant, and enjoyable, especially if you've already walked it, and can identify locations, but it's hard to take the story seriously.

I'd prefer to see a doco, where you could linger on some of the fantastic towns and villages along the way. There's a couple of cheap books on these towns (99cents each) all called Pilgrimage, at http://www.smashwords.com
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004.SJPP-SdC-Finisterre)(1998-2012 completed in sections). Norte (2006.122km) Inglés (2009)
Thank you Bozzie.

What's wrong with a reworking of the Wizard of Oz?

People go on the Camino to find all sorts of things that are lacking in their lives. I suspect many come away with their desires met.

In November 2012 on just a 200km stretch I met four people whose lives have been irrevocably changed by being on the Camino.
 

fraluchi

RIP 2019
Camino(s) past & future
One every year since 2007
Bozzie said:
I do believe that this sacred experience, whether one is religious, spiritual, or neither, changes those who experience it in some way or another.[...]
God speed, Pilgrim! and Buen Camino!!
"The Way", at the end of the film, may not exactly emanate this belief. This is probably one of the reasons why many real :?: pilgrims did not like the film.
 

julie

Active Member
I loved "The Way". Yes, the over-acting initially drove me nuts but that made me feel for the characters even more as their stories unfolded.

It was as if I was walking along with them and, at the same time, reliving my first pilgrimage. Something was certainly stirring the emotions as I couldn't watch it without a box of tissues within easy reach.

I understand the idea of carrying the ashes as, on my return from the Camino, I showed my family a photo of the Pyrenees between SJPPD and Roncesvalles and told them that's where I wanted my ashes scattered. They told me in no uncertain terms that it was never going to happen :(
 

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