Most recent talks Film talks A-Z Before viewing talks Deep talks Sign up: email updates About the film talks Stay up on new talks Join the community
What's this site about? Inside out: Heart Inside out: Beauty Inside out: Love Thoughtful: a film's heart Thoughtful: film content Thoughtful: films to watch Who's behind this?
Register and login General PttH updates Film review sites Film site quick views Quotes The PttH seminar

Away We Go (2009)

"Before viewing" talks introduce the film without spoilers. Watch it, then click on the "After viewing" talk for more. More»» by Randy Heffner

Why the film is worth your time

With light-hearted seriousness, Away We Go romps us through a young couple’s search for life. Or, actually, their search is for a place to live, but of course there’s always a larger thing going on. Burt and Verona’s relationship has its idiosyncrasies, and perhaps because of that it shines all the more in contrast to the craziness they encounter on their search. I came away wanting the richness they have together.

Perhaps the film’s framing as an odyssey is standard enough, yet the questions it opens are strong. What roots us to any particular place? What ties us most deeply to family? From what do we draw life; what rich streams feed us? Do we intentionally search for these things, or do we simply go with the flow? If we do search, what preconceived notions filter our search, determining what we may or may not find? Away We Go’s quirkiness allows it to ask such questions without an overbearing or preachy air. The outlandishness of some of the characters they come upon has a tongue-in-cheek effect, so that the film asks its questions lightly and doesn’t try to back viewers into a corner if they’re not up to the asking.

Away We Go’s pacing, cinematography, dialog, and characters very well embody its lightness and tongue-in-cheek attitude. The main characters acting is honest and real, while some of the supporting characters are played to humorous extremes to make the point. Going with the film’s odyssey construct, we can treat these characters as archetypes and go with it. It’s very much a worthwhile film but, if you’re content sensitive, you might have someone with you position the DVD at the main title (2:41 into the film) and then invite you into the room.

Burt & Verona are going to have a baby. This is a wonderful and true joy for them, and they are very excited as they go to Burt’s parents house for a celebratory dinner (Verona’s parents are dead). But, it turns out that the grandparents-to-be have their own direction in life, and their excitement about the baby goes only so far. This gets Burt & Verona to thinking: Why are we hanging around this town, then? So, away they go on the road, visiting friends and family to find the place they ought to live. Running time: 98 min.

Away We Go has a fair bit of language, some of it strong and some of it with sexual innuendo or direct reference. Much of it serves to build the film’s portrayal of specific characters. Beyond language, the film doesn’t have a great deal of content to note except for one bit that may cause concern: The very opening of the film establishes intimacy, nuance, quirkiness, and a fun attitude in the context of Burt and Verona’s bedroom.

  • Director: Sam Mendes
  • Screenplay: Dave Eggers & Vendela Vida
  • Leads: John Krasinski, Maya Rudolph
  • Cinematography: Ellen Kuras
  • Music: Alexi Murdoch

Tags: ,

Post a Comment

NOTE: Please do NOT put spoilers in comments on Before viewing talks.

You must be registered (it's easy) and logged in to post a comment. Why?

"After viewing" talks assume that you have seen the film. They will contain spoilers. More»» by Randy Heffner

How the film enriched and changed me

The love at the center of Away We Go is a beautiful thing to see, particularly because of how Burt & Verona tolerate each other, and it’s their relationship that reaches out and grabs me from the film. It makes me want all the more to be the kind of person who

Read the rest of this entry »

Screenshots and dialog copyright © 2009 by the filmmakers.

Tags: ,

Post a Comment

NOTE: It is okay to have spoilers in comments on After viewing talks — no warnings necessary.

You must be registered (it's easy) and logged in to post a comment. Why?