The relationship between these two master performers is what makes their latest collaboration so emotionally involving. Theirs is a tidy, fairly predictable, entirely heart-warming movie, called The Way. It centers around Tom, a gruff optometrist, played by Sheen, who goes on a pilgrimage along Spain’s sacred Camino De Santiago after his son dies. During the grueling pilgrimage Tom accrues a close-knit but unsought after group in a manner that has critics touting the film, “a 21st century Wizard of Oz.” Though grandiose, the comparison is accurate, only replace the Scarecrow seeking a brain, with a Scottish writer seeking a story, replace the Tin Man wanting a heart with a Dutchman not wanting a gut, and the lion wanting courage with a Canadian wanting to quit smoking, and, finally, replace the courageous and cunning Dorothy with a severe and unwittingly charismatic old man who brings them all together.
What you end up with is one of the best “family films” in my recent memory. However, when I brought this up with Sheen, he chided me, saying, “People think that family films are something that adults won’t enjoy…this is more of a grown-up film that you can take your kids too.”