Sam Mendes’ sweet road trip movie, Away We Go, achieved something few other films have managed this year: a screaming belly laugh and actual tears of amusement, all with the simple expedient of some childish behaviour with a baby stroller.
As an examination of drifting thirtysomethings, unsure if they’re ‘fuckups’ or not, encountering a stream of stereotypical families as they careen across North America looking for a place to call home, it doesn’t exactly tread new ground. But Mendes’ great strength, here as in American Beauty, is not an original story but an original retelling
Also, something I didn’t mention in the BB review but should have done is the great soundtrack. It’s not groundbreaking stuff, musically, but the Nick Drake-inspired drifting wandering-man-with-a-guitar tracks suit the movie brilliantly and are the excellent side of easy listening. Mostly courtesy of a US-based Scot, Alexi Murdoch.