Monday, 5 April 2010

Away We Go

I have been wanting to see Away We Go ever since we first saw a trailer months ago. It came via Lovefilm over a week ago and I finally sat the family down last night to watch. And I was pleasantly satisfied. Dunk's reaction was that it was 'episodic' and somewhat clichéd, which was true up to a point, but I loved the central characters, Bert and Verona, they were very real and very warm, there was lovely chemistry between the actors.

So, this expectant couple are wondering what to do with their life, where to live to raise their child, and so they travel the country, visiting friends and family, trying to find a spot that suits them. What they experience along the way gives them much food for thought as they discover the upsides and downsides of family life. The people they visit are the 'clichés', each a representative of a different attitude and approach to parenting: the jaded mum of tweenagers, thoroughly disconnected from the lives of her children, mostly concerned with her own life. Then the 'continuum' crazy distant 'cousin', who is so swept up with the correctness if her own beliefs that she became excessively judgemental of anything outside. (Though I do love Maggie Gyllenhaal and her performance was brilliant.) This bit did annoy me because I read The Continuum Concept when I was pregnant with the twins and what was presented in the film was a westernised perversion of the ideas, turning them into something that confined and controlled children rather than freeing them. I also hate the way that any kind of 'alternative' ideas about parenting are presented as extremist and kooky by the media. I commented on a blog the other day that was arguing for more 'mean' parenting, that it was the only way to keep your children safe from harm and make them responsible contributing members of society, and I really got someone riled up. Anyway, then we had the lovely college friends with a huge adopted family, whose happiness is blighted by their inability to have their own child, and Bert's brother, who's wife has abandoned him to raise his daughter, and he is left overwhelmed and frightened by the prospect.

In the end of course Bert and Verona find their own path, and a place that is right for them, and you have no doubt that they will make wonderful parents. It was just a warm and content film, safe, about dealing with the uncertainties of life, and how important it is to work at it together. I regret the lack of baby at the end, but perhaps that would have tipped over into the sentimentality which it successfully avoided.

5 comments:

  1. I really liked 'American Beauty' so will watch this some time.

    As for parenting it's such a tricky topic...I keep away from blogs on that subject on the whole! We have one child (an only one!) which in so many parents' eyes is a failure straightaway... In fact I could say without hesitation that one of the hardest things about parenting is dealing with other parents.

    x

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  2. We were so sorry to hear about Sam and 'oor Kate. They live down near Stow and she shops in Tesco sometimes, Dunk is disappointed that she always gets sliced and doesn't buy his bread (he runs the bakery).
    I was more taken by the fact the film was written by Dave Eggers whose 'Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius' I really loved.
    thanks for stopping by
    martine

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've just read 'staggering genius' and it is stunning in places. I was led to that by his 'What is the what' which is SUPERB!
    x

    ReplyDelete
  4. oh no, now you've given me another for the TBR pile:-)
    thanks
    martine

    ReplyDelete

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