Emilio Estevez has a son, Taylor, who lives in Spain and (according to the tale told on “Regis and Kelly”) this long distance father son relationship was the inspiration for Estevez, the writer/ director/ actor, bringing us this story of the secular, grumpy, widower Tom Avery (Emilio’s dad, Martin Sheen) who, after hearing of the death of his estranged only son Daniel (Emilio in a series of flashbacks and visions) during an attempt to hike the Camino de Santiago a Christian pilgrimage trail to the Cathedral of Santiago de Composta in Northern Spain, also known as the “Way of St. James. Tom goes to retrieve his son’s body but instead decides to make the pilgrimage himself, perhaps as a tribute to his son’s memory. “The Way” is basically a road film but it’s all on foot. Not much to base a picture on unless the travelers are interesting enough. This is where the film shines. The casting of Tom’s fellow pilgrims is inspired. Tom first meets Joost (Jorick van Waneningen) a fat Dutchman who provides a great deal of the humor in the film. Then we meet Sarah (Deborah Kara Unger), a bitter Canadian Divorcee with an acid tongue.Finally we meet Jack( James Nesbitt), The garrulous Irishman with writers block but a loose tongue. The fine acting in the interaction of these three and Sheen, discovering their own reasons for the pilgrimage, provides the entertainment here. I must say that Estevez’s eye for the beauty of the trek is worth the ticket price alone, I imagine the Spanish Tourism board is thrilled.
My GPA: 3.4