Flix Poster of the Week: Peter Weir’s The Way Back

From acclaimed Australian director Peter Weir comes a fact-based story centered on soldiers who escaped from a Siberian prison camp in 1940. The story was inspired by Slavomir Rawicz’s acclaimed novel, The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom, as well as other real life accounts and tells the adventure story chronicling the escape of a small group of multi-national prisoners of the Siberian gulag and their epic life-affirming journey over thousands of miles across five hostile countries. The cast looks pretty good: Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, Saoirse Ronan and Mark Strong. Nice to see Ed Harris, haven’t seen him in quite a while. Apparently he’s just been cast in thriller Man on A Ledge which stars Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Anthony Mackie and Edward Burns (per Deadline).

Weir, whose last movie Master and Commander was released seven years ago in 2003. I haven’t seen that one (which was highly recommended by Sam who list that as one of her top 5 Russell Crowe movies), but I love Dead Poets Society and The Truman Show. He also did another based-on-true-story drama set in my homeland Indonesia (set in the Sukarno era, our first president) called The Year of Living Dangerously, starring a young Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver and Linda Hunt.

Dez at Hollywood Spy posted the trailer last Monday, but now we’ve also got hi-res stills you can view @ Rope of Silicon.

Moviefone posted a full review from the Telluride Film Festival screening and had some great things to say about this movie:

The first half of The Way Back is Peter Weir at his hypnotic best. Always adept at breathing life into landscapes – see the frightening outback vistas of Gallipoli, the mythic Central American jungle of The Mosquito Coast, and even the idyllic false suburbia of The Truman Show – Weir all but personifies Siberia and (later) the Mongolian desert. They seem threateningly to keep pace with our human protagonists. The snow-covered trees and scorching sand dunes become the terrain of an alien planet. The mines of the gulag are a steam-spitting horrorshow scarier than anything in The Lord of the Rings. The film is extraordinary at seeing these places as its characters would; even the sweeping bird’s-eye views seem like an expression of their fear.

Looks like this is definitely one to watch come January of next year. Now, what’s your favorite Peter Weir film(s)?

27 thoughts on “Flix Poster of the Week: Peter Weir’s The Way Back

  1. Ted S.

    I would highly recommend you check out Master and Commander Ruth, it’s one of the best films from the 2000s in my opinion. I have on Blu-ray, I can burrow it to you if you want. Weir is a great filmmaker, I just wish he makes more movies. I also his earlier film Gallipoli with very young Mel Gibson.

    1. Hey I will take you up on that Ted! Been wanting to see it in ages… I’ve got Days of Heaven from Netflix that you recommended weeks ago. What is Gallipolli about? I’m curious to see that one. Yeah, Weir and Malick are similar in that they aren’t too prolific, aren’t they? But quality vs. quantity is probably a good thing.

      1. Ted S.

        Gallipolli: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082432/, it was beautifully filmed, Mel Gibson looked like he was 16 years old in that movie. It’s war movie but didn’t have any gore or anything, it was actually rated PG. I wish it was on Blu-ray because the movie will look great in HD.

        Just like everyone else here, I would also recommend you check out Mosquito Coast too. I think Ford was trying to get rid of his Hans Solo and Indiana Jones persona when he took this role.

        1. Well that’s good to hear… I can’t stomach blood and gore, and lots of war movies usually go overboard with that. I understand the realism front but I just can’t take that stuff.

          Vince was telling me about how people dislike Ford in that role as he wasn’t his usual heroic type. Well, isn’t that what acting is?? How could you ‘punish’ an actor for wanting to mix things up??

  2. Vince

    The Mosquito Coast – in my opinion is a highly underrated and thought provoking film. Harrison Ford in an anti-heroic role, Helen Mirren as his wife and River Phoenix as the son…

    1. Whoah… how could I miss that one??! Those 3 actors right there are all one of my faves… funny how River also played the young Indiana Jones, I guess Ford probably look like him when he’s young? I’ll be sure to add this on my Netflix.

    2. PrairieGirl

      Mosquito Coast is a very good movie, one movie that I read the book first, and the movie certainly lived up to my expectations and more..

  3. I already know I will like the movie only if it doesn’t contain any superficial political comments, and if it doesn’t portray Soviets as eternal villains. I hate such things.
    But other than that it promises to be a great saga, and great epic drama. The actors aren’t really the ones who can bring deeply expressive performances, but they are great for a non-imposing epic action.
    I loved the music in the trailer.

    1. Yeah, it’s annoying when movies or shows ALWAYS portray people from one part of the world as villains, it’s just plain lazy writing. But the fact that it’s inspired by true events is appealing to me. As for the actors, I think Ed Harris is quite expressive IMO, his brand of acting is rarely over the top either which is nice.

  4. The plot synopsis of this film intrigues me…however, that boring poster does not.

    Then again, most of Peter Weir’s films come with dull posters built right in (The only exception being THE TRUMAN SHOW).

    1. What synopsis? I still don’t know what the movie is about. I agree that the poster is uninspired at best but I like the cast. Correction, I like Ed Harris 🙂

      1. Oh come on guys, the poster is decent IMO, no floating heads in sight for one and the composition is well-balanced. I do agree The Truman Show poster is nice, can’t remember what the posters of his other movies are.

        @ Castor, I think Hatter meant the plot. You still don’t know what the movie is about?? I suggest you read the first paragraph 😀

        1. @ Ruth… No sale. I’m quickly becoming one who loathes beauty shots of the cast to spoonfeed the masses.

          Know what though? If it it was that bottom image of the caravan with an empty sky leading up to the cast and title I’d love it!

          1. I hear ya Hatter, but I don’t even see ’em as beauty shots as they aren’t as heavily Photoshop-ed as other poster (methinks Colin’s eyebrows are THAT thick 🙂 )

            You mean the background would be the sky without the lines separating each actor’s pic? Well ok, but I think they’re trying to depict the various terrain these prisoners have to go through in each background behind the actors … frigid mountain, blistering desert, fierce jungle, etc. Can’t believe I’m analyzing a poster this much 🙂

  5. PrairieGirl

    Could not believe I really liked Master and Commander. It’s over two hours long, there is not one woman in the film, and 90% takes place on an (almost empty) open sea. Sounds like enough to certainly discourage me! But I was glued to it in its entirety. RC’s performance is amazing, and the story could qualify as historical fiction, which makes it even more interesting. Also like The Truman Show and Year of Living Dangerously.

    1. Oh I didn’t know you’ve seen it. I know you usually don’t like that type of movie but the fact that you enjoy it makes me even more intrigued now. I’ve moved it up to #2 on my Netflix queue, it’ll arrive after The Last of the Mohicans, that’s my brother’s fave but I’ve never seen it in its entirety.

      1. PrairieGirl

        I only fast-forwarded it in a couple places (yes, you know what that means – battle scenes) but the story and characters were so rich and well-rounded. And again, the historical aspect of it always is a plus in my book.

  6. I really like the trailer for this film and the assumed way in which the movie will play out. I am excited to see it. As far as other Weir films go, Master and Commander is the only one I have seen. It is a good film. I actually enjoyed the nautical cinematography much more than that of, say, Pirates of the Caribbean or some similar film. It is a good film, but takes a little to get into. Russell Crowe and cast did well.

    1. Man, it seems like I’m the only one who haven’t seen Master & Commander 😦 But without having seen it, I bet it’s ten times better than any of the Pirates movie in any way shape or form. I like Crowe so that alone makes it a better movie.

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