6/30/2010: It's been interesting to see the surge in online discussion of this movie since the DVD came out. Also, in the light of this year's natural (the Iceland volcano) and unnatural (BP oil gush into the Gulf) disasters, the movie feels a little more relevant.
5/25/2010: The DVD is out. I got the Blu-Ray version. There aren't too many special features, but you can listen to John Hillcoat's commentary (which is pretty good) during the film.
- Hillcoat's comments under the credits about pre-screening groups were particularly interesting; he said focus groups were very American and he had had no experience with them on his previous movies. He said the natural sounds under the credits were a flashback, not a flashforward. "We had to finish the film before it became a reality."
- Hmm...I wonder what the Carnegie Museum did for them?
- List of deleted/extended scenes on the DVD:
- Lightning Man (pretty much what was in the book)
- Caravan - extended (you'd think it was the cannibals coming out of the tunnel; it wasn't - it was a discussion about going south while the Boy looks at a bird book)
- Dog in Mall (they hear a dog after the Coke scene and go looking for it)
- Sharing an Apple (resting in a car, the talk about friends)
- Saying Goodbye (more between the Veteran and the Boy before he leaves his father's body)
- While the BBQ baby scene was shot, it was not included in deleted scenes. Oh well...
4/4/2010: The Hugo nominations are out, and The Road did not get nominated. Another poorly-marketed SF movie did make the nomination list - Moon (in addition to the expected nominations for Up, Star Trek, District 9 and Avatar). All 2010 Hugo Nominations.
3/24/10: The DVD/Blu-ray is due out on May 25th in the US.
2/4/10: Well, awards season is pretty much over before it began for The Road. No Oscar, Golden Globe or SAG nominations. It was up for a couple of critics awards and for one BAFTA (Best Photography). It has a slight chance to be nominated for one of the upcoming science-fiction-related awards, like a Hugo or a Saturn, but even that looks less likely. Sad because it's a pretty good movie, but its miserable marketing meant the movie hasn't yet found its audience. I hope it does a little better with the upcoming DVD release.
1/21/10: The movie opened to pretty good reviews in England, was in the top ten for its first two weeks in release, suddenly jumped up to number 6 on the IMDB*Pro "most searched title" chart (which is rare for a movie that's been out for two months in the States), possibly because many reviews of the very hyped The Book of Eli mentioned that The Road was a better post-apocalyptic movie. While The Road continues to be almost completely overlooked by Awards season, the British Academy (BAFTAs) has nominated it for Best Photography.
1/6/10: Still playing in about 300 American theaters. Not making much money, but still has an 8.1 rating on IMDB and a 72% on Rotten Tomatoes. Due to open in England soon. Great article in the Guardian by Joe Penhall, The Road's screenplay adapter and what happened when Penhall and Hillcoat screened the movie for Cormac McCarthy.
12/15/09: The Road is due to open in more cities this weekend; check your local theaters' schedules.
Sadly, the movie is not doing well in the early award nominations. Another grim movie, The Hurt Locker, seems to have most of the buzz so far. The Road was nominated for three Critics' Choice Awards (for Best Actor, Best Young Actor, Best Make-up). It seems to have been completely shut out at the Golden Globe Nominations.
11/29/09: While the limited release of The Road meant it was not a top-ten movie its first weekend of release, it did have the highest gross-per-theater - more than Twilight or Blind Side.
11/20/09: Fandango has just announced some midnight shows next Tuesday night of The Road!
11/17/09: Well, the November 25th release is not wide and it's not limited. Call it "semi-limited" I guess. Ropes of Silicon has a list of the 31 cities where it will open. Still better than just NY/LA, but a shame more of the country won't get to see it near its official release date. Hope it opens wide soon!
11/17/09: No official word on whether the wide release date has moved again. The official Web site still has the 11/25 date, and I'm not seeing any news stories talking about an another change of date. Still, this is the way every change of date has been announced - a rumor, and then, eventually, information dribbles out. I hope The Weinstein Company, the film's distributors, aren't going to do this yet again, but it would not surprise me at all if they do.
11/16/09: Rumor has it there won't be a wide release of this movie on 11/25 - it'll just be shown in LA and NYC. Can't say it surprises me. Hope we can see this movie this year...geesh.
10/31/09: The producers have finally released a second trailer. Except for the music (which I don't think is music written for the movie), it's much better than the first trailer. There's still something a little off about it though. Commercials for the movie have started to pop up. There's an official American poster, but I really prefer the black and white ones that were released earlier.
10/29/09: After the movie played at the London Film Festival, the jury acknowledged The Road an honorable mention for Best Picture.
9/13/09: The New York Times Arts Beat (covering a happening just before a press conference on The Road at the Toronto International Film Festival):
Full in front of six or seven reporters who were working near the festival press office, Bob Weinstein, the company's co-founder, gave some very loud marching orders to Viggo Mortensen and others involved with The Road. "Tell the press to stop with this business of calling the movie 'long-delayed,'" shouted Mr. Weinstein. "Even the guys who like the movie say 'long-delayed' Road, 'bleak' Road. It's almost like it's got to be stopped. Like, this is enough."
Ahh, marketing....gotta love it! Screw up the marketing and release of what's turned out to be a mostly well-reviewed movie, and yell at the movie-makers and reviewers for saying that the movie's been delayed again.
9/13/09: The Road didn't win any major awards at the Venice Film Festival. Lebanon won the Golden Lion and Colin Firth won Best Actor for A Single Man.
9/9/09: Unfortunately, the movie's release has been pushed back again to 11/25/09, a fact confirmed by the Weinstein Company site. I try to avoid much commentary in this News area, but I think it's a huge mistake. This movie should not come out on a holiday weekend - putting out a movie focusing on a starving family is not exactly holiday fare. Mid-October was a good release date; a little close to Halloween maybe, but not too close.
9/7/09: Very positive reviews from the North American premiere at the Telluride Film Festival. More rumors that the movie's US release might be pushed back or that they might do a gradual roll out rather than a wide opening. The Official Website and the Weinstein Company site still list October 16 as the release day.
9/3/09: Mostly positive reviews from the international premiere at the Venice Film Festival! Trailer addict has a bunch of clips from the movie; I particularly recommend the scene of Father talking to the Old Man; there are also clips with Mother's final speech, the cellar people, shooting the man, and finding some food. The Road will make its North American premiere during the Telluride Film Festival.
8/21/09: The Official Website remains mostly content-free, but finally has a link to the trailer, some music, and says that the opening date as October 16.
8/16/09: The Road will be shown at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday, September 13.
8/15/09: L.A. Times reports a rumor from someone at Weinstein that The Road may be pushed back again...this time to December. The Weinstein Company Website still says October 16 for The Road's release, but... *sigh* Even if the movie might be good enough for Oscars, many Oscar contenders come out between October and December. It's crazy to have this movie come out over the holiday season.
8/1/09: The Road is premiering at the Venice Film Festival on September 3, 2009 and is playing in competition.
5/14/09: The trailer is finally out! Not the best trailer, but given what could have happened, it really wasn't too bad. And the movie looks as good as we have hoped. The trailer was in the theaters by 5/15, accompanying movies like Angels and Demons.
5/13/09: Outstanding article in the June issue of Esquire: The Road Is the Most Important Movie of the Year. I hope this isn't a "kiss of death" kind of article - while it's insightful and well-written, the other two major film articles in Esquire that month find Terminator: Salvation and Funny People over praiseworthy.
5/3/09: It's official - the movie is coming out 10/16/09!
4/21/09: Been adding a few interesting links lately. If you're curious about what the production design is like, production artist Chris Kennedy has uploaded an interesting collection of art that he created for the movie. It's fabulous, and captures the mood of the book very well.
2/11/09: CineFools reports that the film is done. Yay! The Weinstein Company Web site has finally updated release dates for some of their future movies (like Nine). However, while The Road is listed, it still doesn't have a release date. The official Web site for The Road remains content-free. Film-Releases.com doesn't yet list a release date either.
1/5/09: Still continues to be a dead news time for The Road. The official Web site is still blank, and there's no word of a trailer or a poster. Weinstein Company continues to hold back advertising their movies until the last possible minute. I saw a trailer for The Reader only a few days before it came out. There's a trailer for Fanboys (due out on 2/6) online, but I haven't seen it in the theater.
However, a few movie critics have noted that The Road is on their "most anticipated" list for 2009 (Paste Magazine, Seattle Examiner, Phoenix East Valley Review). I'm not a critic, but it's certainly at the top of my list (along with The Lovely Bones, The Tempest, Star Trek, Harry Potter, and She's Out of My League (which was later put off until 2010) ).
10/18/08: It's official now - according to The Hollywood Reporter, The Road's release been pushed to early 2009. While I'm sad it's been moved to 2009, I always felt Thanksgiving weekend for a wide release of this movie wasn't such a hot idea either.
10/16/08: The Road has had at least one test screening of a rough cut of the movie. The audience response was cautiously positive to rave (with at least one strong negative). Links to some test screening comments here. At the same time, there's a rumor that the movie's release might be pushed off until 2009. This isn't mere "fan-boy mouth-foaming;" this is from Dave Karger's Oscar Watch blog. Karger also writes for Entertainment Weekly, which has done a fair amount to keep The Road mentioned in the mainstream media over the last few months.
The Road was primarily filmed in Western Pennsylvania from late February until late April 2008. The production resumed in Oregon in May. There was some July shooting at Mt. St. Helens (for its truly amazing treefall and general devastation). At some point (possibly in early May, once the Pennsylvania shoot was done), a crew went to shoot in New Orleans (for its battered by Katrina look). The Fulton County News reported that the scenes with Mother (Charlize Theron) were filmed in Seattle (though Astoria and Portland in Oregon seem more likely).
The official Web site for The Road is at http://www.theroad-movie.com/, and remained content-free until September 2009. It finally has the usual sorts of things you'd expect to see from a movie Web site.
For movie discussions, see the IMDB board, the Facebook site for The Road News and Rumors, or the discussion at Criterion. For critic composite reviews, check Rotten Tomatoes and for viewer comments check IMDB once the movie is out.
Viggo Mortensen may have made the most apt description of both the book The Road and the filming of the movie when he told The New York Times: "It's a love story that's also an endurance contest"