Monday, October 19, 2015

Movie Monday 10/19: Redwood Highway

My husband and I have been too busy during our TV time together, watching all the great new shows that just started (and some old favorites), so we haven't had much time left for movies. But I did what I have been doing lately and watched a quieter, mellower movie on my own while he was out golfing last week.

I chose Redwood Highway, a warm, thoughtful film about family and aging that won awards at several film festivals. Award-winning actress Shirley Knight stars as Marie, a woman in her 70's who is living in a retirement home - and is not very happy about it. James Le Gros stars as Michael, her adult son, whom she argues with frequently. Her grand-daughter is getting married soon, but Marie disapproves - she feels she is too young at 22 (and she's marrying a musician!). At first, Marie refuses to attend the wedding, but one night, thinking back over her own wedding and other events from her past, she abruptly changes her mind and decides to attend the wedding on the coast...and walk all the way there, 80 miles away.

Most of the movie follows Marie on her journey, as she heads down the Redwood Highway (Oregon) toward the coast, through gorgeous parks and forests. She starts out a little rough, with the expected problems - terrible blisters, exhaustion, frustration - but she meets a kind stranger in one town named Pete, played by Tom Skerritt, who helps her with both first aid and emotional support and gives her the strength to continue. Marie camps along the way (she is obviously an experienced backpacker from years past) and meets other interesting people - most of them very kind, some not so much.

As she walks, Marie has plenty of time to think (as one does while long-distance hiking!) and revisits her past, finally facing up to some haunting memories. Meanwhile, while she is on this journey of discovery, her son and grand-daughter are panicked that she has gone missing and have police and search parties looking for her. I really enjoyed this quiet, contemplative movie. As a past backpacker myself, I loved all the natural beauty and scenes of hiking and camping and was glad to go along with Marie on her journey of re-awakening. It's a lovely, thoughtful film, with only mild suspense, perfect for those who can't handle tense movies.

Redwood Highway is currently available free on Amazon Prime and on Netflix, as well as on DVD.



Have you seen any good movies lately?


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