Check out a first review of GIRL HELD IN HOME(described by reviewer Josie E. Davis as “a thrilling reflection of post-9/11 suburban America”)
Caitlin McCarthy is an award-winning screenwriter at international film festivals and labs, Caitlin has a screenplay project in development: RESISTANCE with Populus Pictures and Si Wall (SPEED DATE; THE DINNER PARTY). In addition to screenwriting, Caitlin serves as an English teacher at an inner-city public high school.
THE WAY is the way to go! By Caitlin McCarthy
This week, I was one of the lucky winners on Facebook who scored a VIP ticket to the Boston advance screening of Emilio Estevez’s new film THE WAY, starring his father Martin Sheen. (“Like” THE WAY on Facebook if you want to hear breaking news about their screenings, meet-and-greets, activities, etc.) THE WAY is about an American father who travels to France to recover the body of his estranged son who died while traveling “El camino de Santiago” from France to Santiago de Compostela. Written and directed by Emilio Estevez, THE WAY is a powerful and inspirational story about family, friends, and the challenges we face while navigating this ever-changing and complicated world. It was filmed entirely in Spain and France along the actual Camino de Santiago.
Before I continue, I have a confession to make: As a screenwriter, it’s very hard for me to suspend disbelief during a film. I find myself noting the inciting incident, plot points, objective correlative – you name it. But that didn’t happen during THE WAY. Much to my surprise, I found myself crying within the first 15 minutes of the film. Martin’s performance was *that* moving, and Emilio’s script was *that* tight. Now I know what you’re thinking: Why would I want to see a film that makes me cry? Is this some kind of religious film? I’m not into that.
Don’t make that mistake. I would compare THE WAY to THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION , which is considered by many to be a modern classic. Initially, I thought THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION was” just a prison movie,” and almost missed seeing one of the best films about friendship ever made. The last 20 minutes of THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION are perfection, in my opinion.
For me, THE WAY is about family – not just biological family, but friends who become your family. Sometimes we shut family out of our hearts, and only later do we realize the price of that closure. Reopening our hearts to others is a painful, awkward process, but ultimately rewarding. THE WAY will resonate with anyone who’s ever suffered a loss close to home – not just adults, but younger audiences. For my “day job,” I teach at an inner-city public high school. Let me tell you, many of those kids know about loss. Big-time. I imagine them connecting with THE WAY – and they’re a tough audience! I totally connected with Tom (Martin’s character), who grappled with the death of his son Daniel (Emilio’s character). Throughout the film, I kept thinking about Olga, my best friend from high school who committed suicide four years ago. Whenever someone close to you dies young and unexpectedly, you can’t help but regret the things that were left unsaid. That pain never goes away, but its sharpness lessens when you drop your guard and let others support and comfort you. THE WAY didn’t depress me. Rather, it was uplifting. I felt as if I had gone on the journey with Tom and his newfound friends. When Emilio, Martin, and one of their producers came out for the Q&A after the film, I gave them a standing ovation while wiping away tears.
I was sitting in the front row and witnessed up close the obvious love between Emilio and Martin. I was thrilled when Emilio handed me the microphone so I could ask him a question. (So polite!) I first told him that, as a screenwriter, I thought his script was fresh and original. “What inspired you to write it?” I asked. Emilio smiled and turned to his father, who told a story about how he had wanted to walk the “El camino de Santiago.” He flew over with Emilio’s son Taylor, who met his wife during their journey . Emilio joked that if he ever wanted to see his son again in Spain, he had to make THE WAY. THE WAY comes out in theaters on October 7. Right now, Emilio and Martin are on a cross country bus tour, promoting the film. Visit their website to follow their journey – and definitely find “your way” to opening weekend. You won’t regret it.(photos: indiefilm.com, close-up film.com)