Brooklyn

  • Director – John Crowley
  • Starring – Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent
  • Writer – Colm Toibin (novel) Nick Hornby (screenplay)
  • Year – 2015
  • Running Time – 112 mins

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Home is where the heart is.

Over the last 15 years, I have had the immense good fortune of living in six different countries. At the start of this journey I was a young single man, and now as I look around at what seems to be our most permanent of recent destinations, I find myself married, mortgaged and with a young family. This journey has taught me many valuable lessons, though perhaps one more important than most, that home is where the heart is.

Throughout the early years of this journey, the distance came quite easily to me. Seized by the sense of adventure, I shamefully admit that thoughts rarely turned to home. I was grateful for the professional structures around me, which gave me a constant connection back to the UK, but also the reassuring knowledge that I was never more than three years away from a potentially permanent return. This travel lark was fun, but you know, it wasn’t forever.

As the years passed and locations changed, marriage and children brought me emotionally, though not physically, closer to the UK. Trips home were more regular as was the hosting of family visitors, who were finally happy that we were living in a country they actually wanted to visit.

However, after over a decade of living three years at a time, as a family, we felt the need for some permanence and an urge to put down some roots. We had a straight choice between the UK and Australia, though, in reality, it was a foregone conclusion. So we said a permanent goodbye to Blighty and boarded our latest and probably last long-haul flight for a while, and headed down under.

In my head, I had imagined the moment of arriving in Australia many times. I assumed it would be similar to all previous touchdowns in far-flung locations, a mixture of excitement and apprehension; however, this time was different. As the wheels squeaked into the Sydney sunshine, my first thought was ‘I’m a long way from home.’

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The Way (2012)

  • Director – Emilio Estevez
  • Starring – Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, James Nesbit
  • Written By – Jack Hitt (book), Emilio Estevez (written for the screen)
  • Year – 2012
  • Length – 123 mins
 
 

The Way is a powerful, yet simple and really quite moving film, which tells the story of Tom (Martin Sheen) whose son, Daniel (Emilio Estevez) dies during the first night of his trek along the “El camino de Santiago”, an 800-kilometre pilgrimage from the bottom of France to the top of Spain. After travelling to France to bring Daniel home, Tom is compelled to carry Daniel’s ashes the length of the pilgrimage, so together they can finish what Daniel started.

I always find it fascinating to see a Father and Son on screen together.  A son directing his father must have made for an interesting on set dynamic.  However the results are impressive, as through Estevez’s stripped back direction and Sheen’s rich, layered and above all else authentic performance, they have delivered a film of which the family should be proud.  If only Charlie could have had a cameo……then again maybe not. (more…)