Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Randy Sly

2/8/2012 (3 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 (3 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Movies

What are filmmakers getting wrong with Bible-based movies? The universal story may not be so universal Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hollywood has released a lot of movies centered on Christianity and the Bible's stories during 2014. Some of them were well-received by Christians and even film critics, while some of the movies received negative, cold responses, especially from those who subscribe to ... continue reading


Filmmakers of 'Little Boy' receive mixed reviews -- audience approves, film critics are not convince Watch

Image of Little Boy is a movie about a young boy desperate to bring his father home for WWII.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Rotten Tomatoes gave the newly released movie, "Little Boy" a low rating, viewing it as rather unconvincing for fans, the filmmakers and some of the professional film critics. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - However, the movie was given positive approval ... continue reading


New 'Star Wars' trailer features plenty of surprises for fans Watch

Image of John Boyega, who left a lasting impression as the hero in the 2011 British horror film,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"The force - is back," and the new trailer in the "Stars Wars" installment, "Star Wars: Episode VII -- The Force Awakens" packs quite a few surprises. Due to hit theaters during Christmas this year, the trailer's unveiling was attended by many actors in the ... continue reading


Empire of the Cross; Layers of Our Faith Watch

Image of

By Caitlin Bootsma

If you've ever visited Rome and had a sense of deja vu or that you were somehow "home", you wouldn't be the only one. Many Catholics feel this connection to the Eternal City, despite not having a drop of Italian blood in them. This feeling is reinforced by stumbling ... continue reading


Amazing documentary 'Planet Earth' plans sequel to uncover the unknown wilderness Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

When the documentary series "Planet Earth" was shown on TV, a lot of people changed the way they see Mother Earth. The good news is, there is now going to be a sequel to the widely accepted film. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The downside, though, is it ... continue reading


Are movies encouraging kids to drink? New study shows relationship between 'boozy films' and teen drinking habits Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Research shows  a strong relationship between the drinking habits of teenagers and the choices of movies they watch. Young people are found to be more likely to consume and binge drink if they are into movies that feature the notable characters drinking alcohol. ... continue reading


Faith, hope and love: 'Little Boy' is movie for entire family Watch

Image of A motion picture intended to send audiences home with smiles on their faces,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A motion picture intended to send audiences home with smiles on their faces, "Little Boy," is a new World War II-era feature film. The story involves a 7-year-old child (Jakob Salvati) who wants his father to come home from battle. Promising to inspire ... continue reading


Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, iTunes promise lots of entertainment for month of April Watch

Image of Streaming original content, such as the superhero film

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Spring is in the air and streaming movies, TV shows and specials will be here to greet the sunnier season. Streaming original content, such as the superhero film "Marvel's Daredevil" will be the month's main draws. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - From ... continue reading


Late actor Paul Walker lives again - thanks to digital technology Watch

Image of Universal Pictures was able to complete its April 3 tent pole,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Actor Paul Walker, whose life was taken in a horrific traffic accident two years ago, will have the opportunity to live again - dying during the production of "Fast and Furious 7," Walker's scenes will be completed with digital technology. While this will ... continue reading


Luke Skywalker's home in 'Star Wars' invaded by ISIS Watch

Image of R2D2 and C3PO would probably feel out of place at the location that served as Tatooine in the original

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The desert planet of "Tatooine," Luke Skywalker's (Mark Hammill) home planet in the "Star Wars" series, was attacked and destroyed by storm troopers in the original installment of that science-fiction series. Art apparently imitated life, as the Tunisian location ... continue reading


All Movies News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 25:13-21
13 Some days later King Agrippa and Bernice arrived ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20
1 [Of David] Bless Yahweh, my soul, from the depths ... Read More

Gospel, John 21:15-19
15 When they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 22nd, 2015 Image

St. Rita
May 22: St. Rita was born at Spoleto, Italy in 1381. At an early age, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter