Daily Archives: May 26, 2010

 by Scott Turow

Presumed

 

Lawyer-authors Scott Turow and John Grisham are the kings of the legal thriller. I’ve read some Grisham and I think my mixed reaction to his novels has kept me from reading Turow — until now.  I guess you can judge a book by its lawyer, because Presumed Innocent is a deeper, more satisfying read than the crowd-pleasing, superficial stuff that Grisham churns out.  Innocent is meaty and philosophical, with a sweet twist and a memorable killer.  On the downside, the narrator’s frequent, introspective musings sometimes make for slow going, and the book could use some judicious cuts.

 

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Road1

 

There are roving bands of cannibals in The Road, the movie based on Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic novel.  These people-eaters, who look like ordinary humans, are truly terrifying, and in the hands of a lesser director the audience would know exactly what to expect from the film:  Night of the Living Dead, Part 12.

But the filmmakers have taken their cue from McCarthy’s book:  Less is more.  Our heroes, a man and his young son, rarely have direct confrontations with the cannibals.  Instead, the film focuses on what the flesh-eaters leave behind — in a house, or in the woods — and the sense of dread this imparts is palpable.

Also effective is the relationship between father and son.  The viewer doesn’t know whom to pity more, the man, who has lived, loved, and lost almost everything, or his boy, who has never seen a live animal or experienced a treat as simple as a can of Coke.

The Road has been criticized for being relentlessly grim, and it is that.  But when it’s the end of the world, and even the ocean is dead, what would you expect, sunshine and lollipops?       Grade:  B+

 

Director:  John Hillcoat  Cast:  Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Robert Duvall, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Molly Parker  Release:  2009

 

Road2

 

Road3   Watch Trailers and Clips  (click here)

 

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