South African Oscar-winner Charlize Theron joins Viggo Mortensen and talented youngster Kodi Smit-McPhee in a bleak film that doesn’t treat you like an idiot.
Based on Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer-winning novel, The Road focuses on the journey into hell of a man (Viggo Mortensen) and his young son (Kodi Smit-McPhee), who are trekking across a scorched landscape in the wake of an apocalyptic event.
As they make for the coast the pair battle unimaginable hardship, even cannibals, and try to keep intact their moral compass while everyone around them has lost theirs.
Unrelentingly grim from start to finish, The Road won’t appeal to those who are content being spoonfed blockbusters.
Those looking for something challenging will be rewarded with moving performances from Mortensen and Theron (as his wife, seen in flashbacks) and a haunting soundtrack by Nick Cave.
If half the films in 2010 are as good as this, we’re in for a cracking year.
RT 113 mins ****
PIERRE DE VILLIERS