Movie remake for McCarthy's bleak novel "The Road"

Thu Sep 3, 2009 9:44am EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

VENICE (Reuters) - Author Cormac McCarthy's haunting vision of a desolate, post-apocalyptic world in "The Road" has made it to the big screen in an equally bleak film, starring Viggo Mortensen as a father struggling to keep his son alive.

The movie, directed by Australia's John Hillcoat, seeks to recreate the barren, rain-drenched landscapes, anarchic violence, nagging hunger and overriding despair of the award-winning book.

Charlize Theron plays the boy's mother in flashback sequences and Robert Duvall is an aging wanderer roaming the abandoned roads of America.

Hillcoat believes the father-son relationship at the center of the story, and the fact that the boy eventually learns to trust others, means the book and film are in fact more optimistic than they may appear.

"He (McCarthy) explained to me that for him 'Blood Meridian' was very much about the worst in human nature and this book (The Road) for him is very much about the absolute best," Hillcoat told reporters at the Venice film festival, where his movie is in the main competition.

"I think he makes a very real argument for the father as a man who has got all these conflicts that we can all relate to, but at the end of the day it is the boy who takes that leap of faith.

"It's why I think it's ... for McCarthy the most hopeful novel he's ever done."

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<p>U.S. actor Viggo Mortensen (R) and Australian actor Kodi Smit-McPhee attend a photocall for the movie "The Road" at the Sala Grande during the Venice Film Festival September 3, 2009. REUTERSAlessandro Bianchi</p>