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.
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)?