Way “Early,” So To Speak

Yesterday I wondered aloud why a screening of Peter Weir‘s The Way Back had happened in Los Angeles on Tuesday, 10.216, but no options to see it in NYC had been offered by the film’s p.r. reps. Well, it turns out that the screening was arranged independently by Deadline‘s Pete Hammond for his KCET Cinema Series.

“It wasn’t set up by 42 West as an official screening but directly with the producers by me,” Hammond explains. “In fact the publicists wanted it to be shown much later [in the season] but it was the only date I had available as my series is way overbooked and the producers were terrific in letting me make it happen so early since the film doesn’t even open for Oscar consideration until Dec. 29th.

“In fact when I initially set it up that opening date wasn’t even set and it was still expected to open wide Jan. 21st. It played extremely well for my group, and we had exec producer and writer Keith Clarke, producer Joni Levin, exec producer John Ptak and star Ed Harris for the q & a.”

So how’s the film?

“It was second time I’d seen it,” Hammond replies. “I think it’s a great epic in the David Lean tradition, the kind they don’t make anymore. Weir did a remarkable job considering it was made on an indie budget ($29 million) which is amazing for a film of this scope and ambition. Stunning and challenging. fine Russell Boyd cinematography and a great, spare score too.”

  • Rashad

    29 million is an indie budget these days.

  • moviechick44

    After I heard Weir was in pre-production on this I got the novel and it reads like a screenplay. So vivid in it’s telling of their story. If the film is anything like the text, then you are in for a good film. Plus, you have the solid cast, a great director and storyteller and solid crew behind the camera, especially Oscar winning lenser Russell Boyd.

  • Millstream Pigworker

    So very very psyched – Weir is one of the few masters at work today. Now if frickin’ WB would only release his great Fearless in all its widescreen glory…

  • the sordid sentinel

    Agreed on all counts Millstream. My only gripe about Weir is he takes so long between projects. Weir is not about flash and tricks, but as far as pure and efficient storytelling he is one of the best ever IMO.

    Hard to believe the crap treatment “Fearless” got on DVD. Ditto “The Mosquito Coast” for that matter. Maybe Criterion will get the rights to one (or both) one day?

  • Audio of that Q&A:


    And yes, it’s stunning that they pulled this off for $29 million.

  • raquelswell

    I’d prefer it if the actors didn’t speak in Russian-inflected English. I find it comical. Obviously a Texan drawl and heavy New York or Boston accent would be completely out of place in a movie like this but other than that it’s always best for actors to use their natural speaking patterns.