.

The Way

Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez

Directed by Emilio Estevez
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 3
Community: star rating
5 3 0
October 6, 2011

The Way, written and directed by Emilio Estevez and starring his father Martin Sheen in one of Sheen's best performances, depicts a spiritual journey. Words might scare off audiences out for cheap thrills. But open yourself up to this thoughtful, moving personal adventure and you’re in for a uniquely memorable experience. Sheen plays Tom Avery, a California ophthalmologist. Tom is also a widower long estranged from his only son, Daniel (Estevez), a wanderer Tom rejects for his lack of focus. When Tom learns that Daniel has died in a storm in the French Pyrenees, he leaves immediately to collect the body. Instead, he collects the truth about who his son was. Daniel had just started a pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago, an 800-mile trek from the Pyrenees to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, the burial place of St. James. But as we learn, the journey can be motivated by reasons outside a search for God. Even as Tom stops along the way to spread the ashes of his son (played Estevez in flashbacks), he is stubborn non-believer. But the loner eventually hooks up with three other pilgrims, a Dutchman (a splendidly funny Yorick van Wageningen) trying to drop weight, an emotionally wounded Canadian woman (Deborah Kara Unger), and a Irish writer (James Nesbitt) who tries to draw Tom out and record the story of father and son. Estevez keeps his touch light, with a minimum of pedantry. The Way is really a gift from this son to his father. Sheen, gradually revealing a man painfully getting reacquainted with long buried feelings, who gives the film its bruised heart.

Related
Video: September's Worst Movies Get Tossed in the Scum Bucket
Peter Travers' Fall Movie Preview

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Try a Little Tenderness”

    Otis Redding | 1966

    This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com