New movie review from The Movie Snob
The Way Back (B+). Australian director Peter Weir (Witness) brings us this ode to human endurance. It’s based on a possibly true story (apparently there’s some controversy about this) about a small band of people who escaped from a Siberian gulag during WWII and walked all the way to freedom in India. Jim Sturgess (The Other Boleyn Girl) plays the group’s leader, a thoroughly decent young Polish fellow named Janusz whose wife was tortured by the Soviets until she accused her husband of being a spy. He is joined by several others–a hard-bitten American (Ed Harris, National Treasure: Book of Secrets), a Russian thief (Colin Farrell, Ondine), and a few more. Along the way they are joined by a Polish teenager who’s also on the run, an orphaned girl named Irena (Saoirse Ronan, Atonement). I really enjoyed it, although it’s certainly sad in parts. Ronan, whom I’ve liked ever since seeing her in City of Ember, is probably too pretty to be playing a supposedly starving orphan, but she certainly makes it believable that the men would adopt and protect her like a daughter. I think the film’s definitely worth seeing.