The Way Way Back


The Way Way Back is a truly lovely film.

It’s the directorial debut of actors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, whose last film was the beautiful George Clooney picture The Descendants.

The Way Way Back tells the story of Duncan, a shy 14- year- old played by Liam James, who travels to a beach house for the summer with his mum Toni Collette and his mum’s dickhead boyfriend, played by Steve Carell.

While hating his existence (which is truly horrible), Duncan meets Owen (Sam Rockwell) who owns the local water park and is all kinds of awesome. Seeing how much Duncan is struggling inspires Owen to give the youngster something to smile about, and we watch as this shy, miserable child grows into a strong young man.

If I were to choose only two things to explain why I feel The Way Way Back is a brilliant film, I’d choose the writing and the acting.

The ensemble cast are simply incredible, with the audience given everything they need by the directors to truly hate half of the characters in the film. Steve Carell in particular really stands out in his role as a truly horrific individual – a role hugely different from any I’ve seen him in before.

On the flip side to Carell’s misery making character, the audience are smiling at almost every single point that Sam Rockwell is on the screen – with his character Owen bringing a huge amount of warmth to the picture, allowing the audience to experience the happiness that Duncan feels throughout the film.

To help these two sides gel perfectly, the ensemble cast are led by Liam James, who, in the role of Duncan gives us a character we can both empathise and root for throughout.

While the film’s mainly about three main characters – the plot has a great depth to it, meaning that the sub- plots and support characters help to make the picture that little bit more complete, particular praise should be reserved for AnnaSophia Robb, Allison Janney, Maya Rudolph and the ever wonderful Toni Collette.

Overall, I can see The Way Way Back appearing frequently in next year’s awards season, as it’s a truly lovely film and one that I highly recommend watching.



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