Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Randy Sly

2/8/2012 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

This is a film that you will want to watch over and over again

"The Way" continues to attract national media attention as the powerful film moves toward its Feb. 21 release on DVD. We were able to talk with Emilio Estevez about the film and his thoughts regarding its upcoming release on DVD/Blue Ray.

Highlights

By Randy Sly

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/8/2012 (4 years ago)

Published in Movies

Keywords: The Way, Emilio Estevez, Martin Sheen, Movies, Camino de Santiago, Way of St. James


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - "The Way," written and directed by Emilio Estevez, is the kind of film you need to think about after viewing. Like a fine wine, it has a finish that lingers with you long after the credits have run. This makes it a perfect DVD film to own and give to others as a gift.

Recently, I was able to talk with Emilio about this remarkable film, which carefully connects with you and then carries you off on a journey you are eager to make.

You are joining American ophthalmologist, Tom Avery (played superbly by Martin Sheen - Emilio's father), who loses his son (played briefly by Emilio) through a hiking accident on the historic El Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James) in Northern Spain. In reality he had actually lost his son, relationally, long before that. Which leads to the rest of the story.

Rather than return home after identifying the body, Tom decides to embark on the trip himself, following the path used by pilgrims for more than a thousand years, to honor his son's desire to finish the journey. What Tom doesn't plan on is the profound impact this trip will have on him both in rigor and relationships. He's not prepared for the physical toll on his body or the emotional toll from the friends he joins along the way. He learns first hand what his son meant in saying, "You don't choose a life, you live one."

Tom meets other pilgrims from around the world, each with their own issues and looking for greater meaning in their lives: a Dutchman (Yorick van Wageningen), a Canadian (Deborah Kara Unger) and an Irish writer (James Nesbitt), who is suffering from a bout of writer's block.

As I watched this movie, I was struck very quickly by the impact physically that filming this story would have on its lead, Martin Sheen. I was curious to ask Emilio about this aspect of the project.

"My dad has been doing yoga for about 35 years, long before it was trendy, He's a pretty fit guy; he was game to do the trek and really mix it up. He insisted on doing his own stunts."

There was one scene in particular that I wondered about. Tom (Sheen) lost his pack in a rapidly moving river and went in after it.

"That was his idea, you know," Estevez replied. "When I was developing the screenplay he insisted that the bag should get lost in the river and that his character should jump in after it."

While "The Way" did a really good job of portraying priests and has a positive tone regarding the Catholic faith, one of the devices in the film I questioned had to do with the cremation of Tom's son. He then decides to take the ashes on the journey and distribute them along the way. This concept flies directly in the face with Catholic teaching.

I asked Emilio about this and whether they got any push back from audiences. He indicated that one group, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), had a conversation about this and a few other things just after an early viewing of the film.

He said the discussion he had with FOCUS leaders was very positive. On the cremation subject they said to him, "His character is a lapsed Catholic and wouldn't know Canon Law. Wouldn't this be a wonderful talking point with groups regarding Canon Law and the character's choice to do this?"

Without giving away some great film moments, in addition to the three unique characters who join him, you meet a very engaging Catholic priest who is also a pilgrim. At first, Tom thinks he's Jewish because he is wearing a yarmulke but then discovers he has cancer and this is used to hide a tender scarred area on his scalp.

This was based on a true story. "My father met a priest at Lourdes and the priest was wearing a yarmulke, speaking in a thick Brooklyn accent. And my father said, 'Nice to see you, Rabbi!' and the guys says, 'No, no! I'm a Catholic priest and I had brain cancer and I used this yarmulke to cover the scar because I don't look good in a big hat.'"

Faith plays a big place in the film but it is never "preachy." Estevez said that the two things he wanted people to take away from the film were spirituality and community. He indicated he wanted to stay away from dogma that could divide and wanted to stay with themes that would unite the audience and celebrate humanity.

With the film's release on DVD, I asked Emilio how he felt "The Way" might be used.

"We did this cross country bus tour in the fall and we hit 27 states; we did 50 days out there. The feedback was amazing. Some people had seen it two or three times.

"The feedback seems to be, 'I'm going to buy a copy for myself and a copy for my mom. Retreat centers are asking how can we get a copy of the film so we can screen it for discussion here. Catholic organizations saying, 'We'd love for the film to be a part of a discussion on "The Camino" or about community.

"So I really feel that this is a film that is going to stand the test of time; that, while it wasn't a blockbuster type of film, it will be talked about 10 and 20 years from now. It will be remembered."

"The Way" will be available on DVD beginning February 21, 2012.

-----
 
Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online and the CEO/Associate Publisher for the Northern Virginia Local Edition of Catholic Online (http://virginia.catholic.org). He is a former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church who laid aside that ministry to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2016
Universal:
Small Farmers: That small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor.
Evangelization: African Christians: That Christians in Africa may give witness to love and faith in Jesus Christ amid political-religious conflicts.



Comments


More Movies

Pope Pius IX portrayed in Steven Spielberg's latest film Watch

Image of Latest Spielberg movie features Pope Pius IX (WikiMedia Commons).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Steven Spielberg's latest film, "The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara," will tell the true story of how a six-year-old's kidnapping relates to Pope Pius IX, the crumbling of the then Papacy and how Italy was unified through the culmination of events. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


True story behind 'Miracles From Heaven' Watch

Image of Annabel Beam shares story of how God cured her of lifelong illness (PA Real Life).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Annabel Beam was only 9-years-old when she fell down a hollowed-out tree and landed on her skull. Despite other horror stories in which spines were snapped and skulls were broken, Annabel emerged with a few scratches and a miracle: She was cured of a lifelong illness. ... continue reading


Star of 'God's Not Dead 2' opens up about powerful journey that led him to God Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Star of the upcoming feature film, "God's Not Dead 2," Jesse Metcalfe opens up about his journey to God and a better life. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Faith is really important to me," expressed Metcalfe during an interview with FOX411. "I really discovered a ... continue reading


What the Vatican paper has to say about 'Spotlight' and its Academy Award for Best Picture Watch

Image of

By CNA/EWTN News

The film Spotlight, which won the Oscar for best picture on Sunday, is a courageous movie that is not anti-Catholic, the Vatican daily L'Osservatore Romano said in two articles dedicated to comment on the Oscars. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - Historian and journalist ... continue reading


Roman turns to Christ in new 'Risen' film Watch

Image of 'Risen' follows the story of a Roman soldier as he searches for Christ's body (risen-movie).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

New movie "Risen" follows a Roman soldier's search for Christ's body after His resurrection. Clavius, acted by Joseph Fiennes, must disprove "rumors" of a risen Messiah, but reveals a life-changing truth instead. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Risen's" website ... continue reading


5 faith-based movies coming in 2016 that are worth your time and money Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Faith-based films with an overt Christian message have been making inroads in the nation's box offices. The film industry is responding to audiences who want Christian themes in their entertainment, and even more films that are Christian are coming to theaters ... continue reading


The Young Messiah: Film to depict Christ as a child Watch

Image of The Young Messiah is the story of Jesus' youth (Wikipedia).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

"The Young Messiah" is the story of Christ's childhood. Who was he? How did he grow to be the world's Savior? What must it have been like to know the Christ child? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On "The Young Messiah" website, it is explained: "Inspired by ... continue reading


The one amazing thing waves of teenagers are doing after seeing this powerful film will inspire you Watch

Image of Recently released to the home entertainment market via DVD and Blu-Ray,

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Many movies make us laugh, thrill us and make us cry ... in the case of the football film, "Woodlawn," the film's story on how a community is torn apart by racial strife to later reunite because of God's love has audiences standing up and cheering - and ... continue reading


New faith-based film 'The Pastor' addresses gang violence, urban decay Watch

Image of Arturo Muyshondt, the star and writer of the new faith-based film

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The faith-based film "The Pastor" is playing in 400 theaters tonight only across the United States. "The Pastor" tells the story of a former gang member, played by the film's writer Arturo Muyshondt, who turns his life over to God and begins his ministry in a ... continue reading


Opulent castle in Hitchcock masterpiece 'To Catch a Thief' on the market Watch

Image of Sharing the screen with Cary Grant in 1955, Grace Kelly fell in love with the amazingly beautiful castle.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The breathtaking Castle of la Croix des Gardes, used to good effect in the 1955 Alfred Hitchcock classic, "To Catch a Thief" is back on the market again after 56 years. Grace Kelly adored the location, with its graceful Florentine contours. The owner of the ... continue reading


All Movies News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 16:11-15
11 Sailing from Troas we made a straight run for Samothrace; the next day ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 149:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 9
1 Alleluia! Sing a new song to Yahweh: his praise in the assembly of the ... Read More

Gospel, John 15:26--16:4
26 When the Paraclete comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 2nd, 2016 Image

St. Athanasius
May 2: St. Athanasius, the great champion of the Faith ... Read More