Starring Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) and relative newcomer Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Road seeks to distinguish itself from similar fair by bringing a real look at a post-apocalyptic world. Director John Hillcoat drew inspiration form contemporary tragedies to capture the essence of the film, “…instead of just looking at other post-apocalyptic films, we ended up going to documentaries and photos of actual apocalypses or ones that didn’t go global. Within that small area, it’s the equivalent, so we looked at Hiroshima, Katrina and 9/11.”
The timing of the release cannot be overlooked either and could be somewhat strategic by Dimension Films. A November date puts The Road in Oscar contention for this year. While uncommon for genre type films to get Academy recognition, it wouldn’t be the first time McCarthy’s work received Oscar buzz. The film No Country for Old Men, based on McCarthy’s novel, won four Academy Awards thanks, in large part, to the Coen brothers. Considering the serious tone of the story and Mortensen’s dramatic level of acting, The Road just may lead to more Oscar gold again.