Movies, Movies: Finding Inspiration along “THE WAY”

Last weekend my brother & I drove an hour to a Big City to see “The Way” – an absolutely BRILLIANT film starring Martin Sheen, directed by his son, Emilio Estevez.  Given competing interests (Art Museums to see & Good Eats to enjoy), Dwight was a bit dubious spending precious Big City time on a movie, but afterward he said it was the highlight of the day & we had a major argument: who will buy the DVD when it comes out since we BOTH want it for keeps to watch again & again (!)

This is a movie for everyone about TRANSFORMATION.  No matter what your walk in life, we all struggle with issues –  lapsed love, waistlines, careers, faith – lapsed LIVES. Beautifully written, excellent cast, with humor lightening heavy stuff along ‘the Way,’ this movie INSPIRES.  Did i mention it was filmed on location in France & Spain??

The storyline:  Tom Avery (Martin Sheen) is an eye doctor from California, but stuffily set in his ‘superior’ ways he doesn’t see eye-to-eye with his free-spirited son, Daniel (Emilio Estevez), especially when Daniel heads off to trek the 800KM Camino de Santiago – The Way of Saint James pilgrims have walked from France through the Spanish Pyrenees for over 1,000 years.

As Tom gives his son a hard time on the way to the airport about prudent ‘life choices,’ Daniel responds, “you don’t choose a life, Dad, you live one.”   Amen.

After Daniel dies in a freak accident on the first day of his trek, Tom must go to France to claim his remains.  When a priest asks, ‘can I pray for you?’  Tom bitterly says, “what for?”  A lapsed Catholic, he doesn’t ‘get’ why people do the Way.  But when French police Captain Henri (favorite actor Tchéky Kario from “The Patriot”)  explains the Camino de Santiago, Tom decides to walk it ‘together’ with Daniel’s cremated ashes – all 800 kilometers..  he’s an old guy (over 60!) out of shape (!) but he’s determined to do it on his own.

That’s the storyline, but the challenges REALLY begin as he meets other folks along The Way – Joost, an extremely extroverted Dutchman, (Yorick van Wageningen) who wants to lose weight; Sarah, a Canadian (Deborah Kara Unger) trying to quit smoking; and Jack, (James Nesbitt) a nutty Irish writer fighting writer’s block.

There are split-your-side funny scenes, gorgeous scenery (all filmed along the actual Camino de Santiago) and zap-your-heart seriously serious moments (when Sarah shares the real reason she’s there, be sure to have a tissue in hand.)  The script is outstanding.

There’s so much more to take away from this movie (scenes keep mind-flashing all week), but i don’t want to give them away.  If you are looking for an inspiring movie this weekend, DON’T MISS this one (even if you have to drive an hour to see it!)

Kudos to Emilio Estevez for the gift of this movie & to Martin Sheen (we are groupies, just finishing our 7th Season DVDs of West Wing) – what an Utterly Outstanding effort from you & the WHOLE crew..



for one of the best inspirational movies of the year…



Virginia : )

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6 Responses to Movies, Movies: Finding Inspiration along “THE WAY”

  1. This movie sounds amazing, I can’t wait till it comes out here. The Camino de Santiago is on my list of things to do before I’m 40. The list keeps getting longer and I’ve only got two years! Living in Spain I know lots of people who have done it and said it was the best experience of their lives. I know one guy who does it every year. His wife goes with him but she drives and meets him in hotels along The Way!!

    • Virginia says:

      After seeing this movie, i would really like make the Camino de Santiago, too – & after reading your AMAZING BLOG, i would love to visit Spain & eat my way through some of those gorgeous foods! (have a new 1080 Spanish recipes cookbook & can’t wait to delve in – this, of course, after trying your pumpkin cake & cheesecake recipes!!)

      Thanx again, Natalie, for inspiring us with your beautiful food! : )

  2. Pingback: MOVIES: Amazing Grace (& the Abolition of the Slave Trade) | Roses in the Rubble

  3. Claudia says:

    I agree with you. This movie is very inspiring. When I saw the movie, I liked it so much I bought the soundtrack on Itunes. And I listen to the, also inspring, music from the movie almost everyday.

  4. TMH says:

    Virginia: so just yesterday, I’m perusing your list of movies and noticed ‘The Way’. Didn’t think much beyond it [other than you had reviewed it] and moved on down the list. Less than 24 hours later, a lady training me at a volunteer gig I just joined was singing its merits and I thought to myself, “Self, that’s uncanny.” So I have it on hold at the library. Looking forward to watching it.

    • Virginia says:

      Tim – hope you enjoy the movie. There’s much to take in about personal transformation & the importance of community in our journeys. Plus, the scenery is amazing! It’s one of my bucket list dreams to walk part of the Camino one day. – VA 😎

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