When Thomas Avery’s son, Daniel, is killed in the Pyrenees, Thomas leaves California to retrieve Daniel’s body. Once he gets to France, Thomas discovers that Daniel was walking the Camino de Santiago, which is a pilgrimage that is, at its roots, spiritual but is taken for many other reasons. For his own personal motives, which are both glaringly obvious and maddeningly discreet, Thomas decides to make the pilgrimage.
It felt as if the movie swooped in and folded itself around me. The scenery was absorbing, Martin Sheen played a convincing and mesmerizing grief-stricken father and the music was simple but present.
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the movie involves the relationships that develop between Thomas and other pilgrims, friendships that struggle to flower beneath the weight of Thomas’ sorrow. I was greatly impressed with the generous display of frailty and the graceful crusade towards acceptance of self. Flaws were magnified and pondered over endlessly, only to receive a shrug as greater truths were uncovered.
I recommend this movie to anyone who wishes to briefly dip into an entrancing place that is teeming with characters who are lively and inspiring. I also think that this is an absolute must for anyone who misses President Bartlet from The West Wing and is looking for another Martin Sheen fix.