This will be short. I just want to point out this movie that got lost in the award season release schedule and is now finally on DVD. Though, this is the kind of epic, on-location type movie that should be seen on a big screen, if possible. This is also, sadly, the type of movie that just isn’t made that often anymore. Peter Weir managed to scrape together enough to get this made from various sources (National Geographic even threw in some money).
This seems like the type of film that would be a great supplement to reading the story first. Based on The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz, this film triumphs in its attempts at realism (earning its well deserved, though only, Oscar nomination for Best Makeup).
The international, ensemble cast is marvelous with Jim Sturgess and Ed Harris leading, along with Saorise Ronan and Colin Farrell (with yet another surprisingly good supporting performance). The plot concerns the journey taken after a Gulag prison break.
My one complaint is that, with this movie only being slightly over 2 hours, it is much more fragmented in its editing than I would have liked. Despite the lack of changing narrative (it is a fairly linear journey, at least geographically), it could have easily been a half hour longer. And, if you are one for uber-realism, it might be hard to take that Bulgaria stands in for Siberia and Morroco for Mongolia. But the landscapes still look amazing.
The Gulag part of the film really could have been its own feature-length film, but really takes less than 1/4 of the running time. As Weir says, it is all about “the journey”. Definitely worth taking, if you are familiar with Weir’s past adventure tales or just like a good visual story…