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Monday, September 14, 2009

Reviews coming in for The Road at Toronto

Marshall Fine writes that The Road has "drawn mixed reviews coming out of the Venice Film Festival."

Viggo Mortensen & Kodi Smit-McPhee in 'The Road'

The chief knock on it? That it's downbeat and depressing.

How shocking — given that it's based on Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a father and son trying to survive a world-killing nuclear winter. I guess those critics were looking for a more cheerful post-apocalyptic tale.

In fact, Hillcoat's film is both faithful to and expands upon McCarthy’s novel. But as the book did, it always returns to the father, played with fierce tenderness by Viggo Mortensen, and his efforts to keep his boy alive and get him to some safe place — if such a place still exists. It's a performance that alternately smolders and flares, as Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee (as the boy) trudge through a gray, desolate landscape, trying to maintain their humanity and stay alive, while dodging others who have succumbed to the Darwinian imperative.

It's an important and a genuinely moving film, one that deserves a wide audience. Here's hoping that it finds one in the crowded award season of November, when it will be released.

I must confess that I am dreading the film as much as I look forward to it. I'm depressed enough already! McCarthy's The Road has been sitting on my shelf for over a year, waiting for me to build up the courage to read it. But with Viggo in the film, I'll be in the theater as soon as it reaches my hometown, and I have no doubt I'll be glad I saw it.

You can read the rest of Marshall Fine's Toronto reviews at his site, Hollywood & Fine.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Viggo Mortensen's hairdo troubles some folks

Viggo Mortensen at the Venice Film FestivalThe Huffington Post has posted a poll asking readers their opinion of Viggo's latest look.

Viggo Mortensen is at the Venice Film Festival to premiere his long-awaited cinematic version of Cormac McCarthy's The Road Thursday night.

Thursday at a photo call Viggo, 50, arrived by boat in a "Make Art, Not War" t-short and a middle-parted, shoulder-length bob.

Your choices in the poll are "Love it!"; "Love HIM, but not the hair"; or "Lose It". Unfortunately there is no option for "Love Viggo and whatever he wants to do with his hair is fine with me." Thankfully, most of the comments express this latter opinion! Vote and/or comment here.

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