Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Randy Sly

2/8/2012 (2 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 (2 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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Movies

SEE IT NOW! 'The Identical' shows that faith and family is the key to a full and happy life

Image of Blake Rayne portrays two characters in the new film

By Robert Mullen (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"If He is in your dreams, nothing can stand against them," says the tagline of the new movie "The Identical". It's a simple phrase, but in this drama set primarily against the backdrop of the rise of rock and roll through the '50s and the '60s it still manages to ... continue reading


Walt Disney defrosts 'Frozen' for fun new short film this year Watch

Image of The new short,

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Walt Disney Studios is pulling "Frozen," their animated box-office champ of last year for a fun new movie short. In a title that is the quintessence of contradiction, the new film is entitled "Frozen Fever." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Frozen Fever" ... continue reading


The Identical: Reviving Values in Hollywood

Image of

By Caitlin Bootsma

Do you ever wonder why Hollywood stopped producing movies like It's a Wonderful Life, Meet Me in St. Louis, or The Wizard of Oz? These were films that you could enjoy viewing by yourself, but also watch with your children or parents without skipping scandalous scenes ... continue reading


Director Martin Scorsese to helm story of 17th Century Jesuit priest Watch

Image of Andrew Garfield will play the lead role of Father Sebastian Rodriguez, a character based on an Italian priest named Giuseppe Chiara.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While he's best known for macho, action dramas such as "Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull" and Goodfellas," movie director Martin Scorsese's previous work has always been steeped in the teachings of the Catholic Church. Now, America's finest living motion picture ... continue reading


Asian-Pacific actor and 'Die Hard' star James Shigeta dies at 81 Watch

Image of Actor James Shigeta as he appeared in his first major screen role,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Actor James Shigeta, whose most recent high-profile acting role was in the original "Die Hard" entry, has passed away at the age of 81. Shigeta was a highly active Asian-American actor who paved the way for others, and had a 50-year-plus career that stretched ... continue reading


'Transformers: Age of Extinction' battering the box office - in China Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The "Transformers" film series in the U.S., is based on a childhood toy favorite where ordinary, commonplace things such as trucks turn into giant robots to do battle. Aimed at children, "Transformers" films are aimed mainly at children and are booked in stadium ... continue reading


Relativity Studio's Family Friendly 'Earth to Echo' (In theaters Nationwide July 2) will entertain kids of all ages, and provide lots of laughs for parents too!

Image of Earth to Echo will entertain the whole family!

By Donald Clark

Relativity Studio's Family Friendly "Earth to Echo" (In theaters Nationwide July 2) will entertain kids of all ages, and provide lots of laughs for parents too! We had an opportunity to pre-screen Earth to Echo with 350 children and their parents at the TLC theatre in ... continue reading


Cop comedy '22 Jump Street' takes box office by storm Watch

Image of The comically inept cop comedy duo of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In spite of the World Cup and the Stanley Cup finals dominating TV airwaves this past weekend, it didn't keep film fans from heading to the theaters in droves. The nation's pick for top flick? The rowdy cop comedy "22 Jump Street," which grossed an impressive ... continue reading


No one ever dies in science-fiction: Sigourney Weaver to return for 'Avatar' sequels Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

No character that ever died in a blockbuster motion picture can never be ruled out for resurrection for the inevitable sequel or sequels. Such is the case with actress Sigourney Weaver. "Avatar" director says that Weaver will be back before cameras for all ... continue reading


Latest Disney movie performs 'Maleficent'-ly at box office Watch

Image of This time, evil queen Maleficent - as played by Angelina Jolie, tells her side of the popular bedtime tale.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The motion picture-going public loves a villain on the big screen - and to that end, lines wrapped around theaters to see "Maleficent," Walt Disney's new take on their "Sleeping Beauty" story. This time, evil queen Maleficent - as played by Angelina Jolie, ... 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, First Corinthians 15:1-11
1 I want to make quite clear to you, brothers, what ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 118:1-2, 16-17, 28
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh for he is good, for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 7:36-50
36 One of the Pharisees invited him to a meal. When ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 18th, 2014 Image

St. Joseph of Cupertino
September 18: St. Joseph was born at Cupertino, in the diocese of Nardo in the ... 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