is the way back a true story

is the way back a true story
October 28, 2020

Get full reviews, ratings, and advice delivered weekly to your inbox. See something that needs to be addressed? We can’t guess the specifics, but we know the answers to most of these questions in our moviegoing reptile brains. The Way Back is a film worth seeing, just not with them. He returns to his high school to coach the team, but this isn't a story aimed at teens. How does it compare to other youth sports dramas? Common Sense and other associated names and logos are trademarks of Common Sense Media, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (FEIN: 41-2024986). That Affleck has now put his life out there to publicize “The Way Back” doesn’t mean that he’s engaged in anything vulgar or self-exploitative. Does The Way Back portray drinking too much as a disease or a choice? It's hard to tell whether this one is or isn't intended to fall into that category. Once he gets onto the court for league games, his competitive instinct kicks in, and there’s a running joke about the swearing he does on the sidelines. Ben Affleck is compelling in a drama of addiction and redemption that plays off his own tabloid odyssey. He lets the inspiration of basketball fill the void, and for a good long stretch it works. Thank you for your support. He’s self-medicating (clearly), and he quits all by himself (which is, in fact, a rather alcoholic thing to do): no 12-step program, no counseling. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. A few instances of shoving, both on basketball court and during a confrontation. All of that still goes on, of course (much of it in mainstream publications), but the world of showbiz glossies is now an industry that operates with reckless freedom. “The Way Back” plays well enough, yet the trouble with it isn’t just that it evokes far more penetrating dramas of addiction. The fact that we have to imagine most of the details —the benders and the Vegas gambling jags, the marital therapy, the prisoner-of-fame isolation — only adds to the weird cinematic thrust of it all. Will his team of ragtag hoop dreamers pull themselves together to become champions? Janusz: Then why didn’t you just kill yourself? I’d love to see Affleck star in a film about an addict with nothing to explain his addiction but his own flawed, desperate, hungry soul. Valka – As a Russian thug and overall criminal, Valka threatens his way into the escape plan much to the hatred of the fellow escapees. Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Cunningham curses like a sailor: He says "f--k" constantly, which rubs off on the teens he's coaching. And he also starts to find THE WAY BACK to healing himself. Cunningham is a blue-collar worker living in a community of blue-collar workers. Share the History Love…FacebookPinterestTwitterTumblrRedditStumbleUponDiggLinkedin, A Douglas Aircraft Company worker rivets a A-20 bomber at the plant in Long Beach, California in October 1942. If you chose to provide an email address, it will only be used to contact you about your comment. Parents and caregivers: Set limits for violence and more with Plus. See our. Mr. Smith – Cynical ex-military American, Mr. Smith was arrested in Moscow for espionage and is, initially, a reluctant escapee. The 2010 war drama, The Way Back, depicts the 4,000-mile escape from a Soviet-controlled Siberian gulag (prison labor camp) to India by seven prisoners of war.The POWs deal with far more than the threat of capture. Parents: Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. The extraordinary tale of human courage and strength sold over 500,000 copies and was translated into 25 languages. Mostly, the film addresses alcoholism, and Cunningham is shown drinking beer and hard liquor constantly in ways that are typical of those in the throes of the disease: hiding bottles, sneaking alcohol into cups that look like coffee or water, drinking and driving, drinking alone, and getting smashed every night. Inspiring sports film about a real-life underdog. And the basketball scenes are rough and shaggy in a convincing way. Browse titles with similar subject matter. Hustlin' hoops tale with too much skin for kids. Tomasz – Since Tomasz worked as a pastry chief before the war, he is the group’s cook but his real passion is for drawing. Would Jack like to take over as head basketball coach? Despite his own personal demons, his rough-around-the-edges mannerisms, and the team's dismal record, Cunningham finds the players' hidden talents. Yet beneath the authenticity of its staging, there’s a moralistic simplicity to “The Way Back.” The film is too programmatic an illustration of how bad things happen to good people. How Technology Is Reshaping Democracy and Our Lives, Participate in DigCit Week with your kid by using curated activities from Wide Open School, Online Playdates, Game Nights, and Other Ways to Socialize at a Distance, Keeping Kids Motivated for Online Learning, Set limits for violence and more with Plus, Good for older kids but NOT for young kids, 5 Tips to Make Family Movie Night a Success. Yet Affleck himself has come clean about his life, notably in a recent New York Times profile. It can influence the way we feel about TV and movie stars, reinforcing but (in many cases) undercutting their onscreen images. 8/10 with a beer..and your Lady will love it too! It’s there, at moments, in Affleck’s performance, and the film is well-staged by director Gavin O’Connor. How did you feel when the teens start pointedly using Cunningham's curse words in their own speech? “You gotta be fuckin’ blind,” he yells. Discuss the use of profanity and "locker room" jokes. Life can be unfair and difficult, but numbing the pain through substance use will only make life more difficult. The Way Back is based on Slavomir Rawicz’s 1956 memoir, The Long Walk, about his Siberian gulag escape to India. What consequences does Cunningham face due to a lack of self-control? Enjoy!!! Yet the script, by Brad Inglesby, is a pile-up of situations that, without necessarily being farfetched, feel like elevated clichés. Families can talk about alcoholism. The extreme weather and elements create a perilous journey as the group walk through snowstorms, mountains, insufferable mosquitoes and a seemingly endless desert … Namely, the story of Ben Affleck. And he swears more like a Hollywood-stereotypical Miami drug dealer than a Long Beach Catholic high school coach. Main character drinks and drives frequently; eventually, there are consequences. You could say that it doesn’t matter — that the drama of drinking takes on a life of its own. Thank you for swinging by and leaving your thoughts on the film! While the story revolves around a Catholic school, the only faith-oriented conversation involves the team chaplain explaining to Cunningham about why it's important for people of faith not to curse. Those tough moments are likely to squeeze parents' hearts so hard they can't breathe, which might also make them wonder how they'd handle such difficult moments in their own lives. Being alive was my punishment. They cite the fact that Rawicz never supported his story with any evidence at all as questionable. It’s the rage behind them. The chaplain prays with the athletes that they play with respect and dignity above all, while Cunningham's mission is to win, even if that means unsportsmanlike conduct. However, it is a familiar tale. We won't share this comment without your permission. Janusz – A Polish young man accused of promoting anti-Soviet resistance, he organizes the escape and has a background in wilderness survival. Mayne could not remember their names, so while the memoir may have been a fabrication, it is possible that a group did in fact make this incredible journey. Currently it is streaming on Netflix if you have an account, but it can also be found at other movie rental places. In “The Way Back,” Ben Affleck, somber and looming, with a no-frills conviction he hasn’t shown as an actor in quite some time, plays Jack Cunningham, a former high-school basketball superstar who never made it big and has fallen on hard times. “The Way Back” is a last-shot-at-redemption movie, and it’s set in motion when Jack gets a call, out of the blue, from Father Devine (Jack Aylward), the elfin headmaster at Bishop Hayes, Jack’s old parochial school, where he is still a jock legend. If you, like me, are shaking your head at how easily alcoholism is cured in movies, you will be glad to learn that the screenplay digs deeper into both Jack’s drinking and the strong bonds of his addiction. That's who Cunningham is, but for parents, it may be cringey to see the high school kids pick up on his favorite word: "f--k." Cunningham isn't intended to be a role model, and yet he is to these boys -- and therefore might, in a sideways direction, be to your kids. (That 1986 film, too, had a recovering alcoholic, played by Dennis Hopper, though his character wasn’t center stage, and the Oscar Hopper got nominated for stood in for the nomination he should have gotten for “Blue Velvet.”) In “The Way Back,” there are questions to be answered and mysteries to be solved. In an effort to mislead the Luftwaffe bombers, the British placed bamboo scaffolding over the […]. Kazik – He is a young Pole suffering from night blindness, a disorder that may jeopardize his survival. We're updating our reviews to better highlight authentic stories and accurate, diverse representations. Mr. Smith: In the camps, some saw death as freedom. Talk about Cunningham's approach to teamwork compared to Brandon's (or Cunningham's vs. the team chaplain's). Mr. Smith (Ed Harris) & Irena (Saoirse Ronan). Other language includes "ass," "bulls--t," "d--k," and more, and characters make crass sexual jokes (there's also one kiss). It has mature themes of substance abuse, marital separation, family strife, loss, terminal illness, and redemption. Why is self-control an important life skill? All rights reserved. "Jesus!" Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners. While drinking isn't glamorized, a couple of scenes show camaraderie that revolves around drinking or being a regular at the bar. I took my 14 year old son to go see this movie because he loves basketball. Heavy drinking (beer and hard liquor) by an alcoholic: on the job, in the bar, snuck into cups to look like coffee or water. I heard that there is a lot of swearing in this movie but after the movie I didn... Inspiring football drama brings history to life. However, the most devastating problem that arises is the moral question of leaving a man behind. Main character also smokes cigarettes, mentions with regret his past drug use. I enjoyed The Way Back on its own merits – good acting and directing, beautiful scenery and a good story regardless of its historical accuracy. But the tabloid version was better. Themes of redemption. Once in a while, the offscreen tale of a star’s life has a way of becoming, in effect, a movie all its own. Searching for streaming and purchasing options ... Common Sense is a nonprofit organization. Why is teamwork important? Some of his coaching techniques are the opposite of what the school is teaching. Read Next: In Cannes, a Bittersweet Mini-Festival Salutes the Past and Sets Out a Hopeful New Vision, ‘Belushi’ Review: R.J. 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