Filmed entirely on location in France and Spain, the scenery in The Way is so gorgeous it may inspire viewers to walk the Camino de Santiago themselves. In fact, the story was inspired by an actual pilgrimage made by Martin Sheen during a break from filming TV’s The West Wing in 2003.

At first there’s an odd, grainy quality to the picture but it either goes away or the eye adjusts; it ceased to be a distraction after a few minutes. The story moves along at a steady walking pace; while it’s not exactly action-packed, it is thought-provoking. The Way is a terrific choice for those who like to engage in post-movie discussion, if only to ponder Daniel’s words to his father: “You don’t choose a life, Dad, you live one.”

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol: Almost constant smoking—sometimes the ‘extra-special hand-rolled’ variety. Joost is constantly being asked for or offering drugs of some sort. Every meal and most rest stops are accompanied by wine or other alcoholic beverages. A “drug deal” (for a sleeping pill).
  • Language/Profanity: He**, da**, jacka**, “Christ” used as an expletive.
  • Sex/Nudity: Brief rear view of a man wearing a thong (played for laughs). Various characters shown urinating on the side of the road, but it’s fairly discreet. A woman’s shirt is low-cut. A man’s belly is exposed when his bathrobe falls open.
  • Violence: Brief drunken scuffle; a solid punch landed in a separate incident.
  • Spiritual Concerns: A past abortion discussed. St. James venerated but no members of the Trinity mentioned. The travelers visit several Catholic churches and attend a service.
  • Other: Patriotic viewers take note: a brief, mocking serenade of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and a wine-soaked version of "God Bless America" are included. Both seem fairly well-intentioned.