The Backwoods details
|Starring:||Virginie Ledoyen, Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, Paddy Considine, Gary Oldman|
|Original title||Bosque de sombras|
|Run time:||2 hours 33 minutes|
|Rental release:||19 May 2008|
|Main languages:||English, Spanish|
|Hearing impaired subtitles:||English|
Most helpful review
PointlessBy Angelchaos (6 reviews) from Worthing, England , 06 Jul 2008
[Highly rated reviewer]OK, so i'm disappointed that Paddy Considine is finally in a bad movie. He is one of my favourite actors and you can usually bank on anything he puts his name to.
I can only imagine that he and the superb Gary Oldman, really got shafted making this movie. They both try really hard to make this great, but even with both of their considerable talents on show, the movie has no plot.
It does have a tense and claustrophobic atmosphere throughout, which makes you feel that something really terrible or dramatic is always around the corner, but you cannot help but feel cheated when there is none.
I wonder if the tension is because the actors realised once they were out in the middle of nowhere just what a disaster the whole project had become.
It really doesn't help that the two leading females are flat and completely without enthusiasm for their roles. They just come across as moody and spoilt.
It's a shame, because it looks the business. Watch STRAW DOGS, FUNNY GAMES or DELIVERANCE instead.
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If you go down to the woods today...By a customer from London , 28 Oct 2008...be sure of a big surprise, and, if you rent (or worse - buy) this movie you will be oh so sure of a big (HUGE) surprise. Gary Oldman, you're thinking, Paddy Considine, you muse, all in vain I'm afraid. This is a Bernard Matthews Turkey twizzler of a film. Not even the male leads can save it. I can only think that they had some bet between each other to see who could balls it up better than the other. Neither of them should have won that bet, of course, as the award for worst actress in a supporting, heck, in any role, goes to....Virginie Ledoyen! Didn't they leave her on The Beach? Shame...In all fairness the actors are dealing with a movie that has no direction, substance, understanding of its own raison d'etre, a script that sounds like it was OK in Catalan, but someone (the writer's best mate?) translated it into English...BAD. VERY BAD.
Not that bad!!!By Garry1066 (14 reviews) from Dundee , 18 Sep 2008
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS Show review anywayHideNot as bad as some reviewers are making with more than a nod to Straw Dogs..i can't believe Oldman didnt have a word with the director about his character though, all the way through he's Deniro in the Deer Hunter and then he suddenly gives up just like that..the rabbit vs man with a shotgun was a bit laughable as well..maybe it was supposed to be a semi comedy
BackwardsBy Nakedswordsman (64 reviews) from Darwen , 16 Sep 2008Ok film. Looks as though Paddy and Gary needed some help with the credit crunch. Why else would they be in this?
backwoodsBy pablotenato (6 reviews) from Liverpool , 10 Sep 2008WORTH THE WATCH JUST FOR OLDMAN'S AND CONSIDINE'S PERFORMANCES WHICH ARE BRILLIANT AS USUAL
BackwoodsBy Wynter (75 reviews) from UK , 08 Sep 2008The Backwoods sees two couples heading off to a renovated farmhouse in Spain only to run into trouble with some of the locals. With plenty of similarities to much better films such as Deliverance and Straw Dogs (even taking a 70s setting) the film has a very familiar feel to it right from the start but still manges to entertain and drum up some decent levels of tension.
One of the reasons that this film works so well is the casting. When the stranger walks into the bar and the locals go quiet it really helps that the stranger is played by the excellent Paddy Considine and his older more assured friend comes in the form of Gary Oldman (two actors that we really dont see enough of). These guys might not have much to work with but they manage to convince as recognisable people. Having said that, the casting also causes some problems as the guys respective partners (played by Aitana Sánchez-Gijón and Virginie Ledoyen) are much less convincing and in the case of Considines character, Norman, it really seemed out of place that he would be in a relationship with someone from outside of Britain (not that the guy is a racist or some kind of social misfit - it just didnt ring true).
Beyond the casting the film itself remained nicely ambiguous and, despite the similarities to many others, was not overly predictable. In all, it was an enjoyable and worthwhile watch that is well worth having a look at.
On a technical side I could grumble that speech is sometimes hard to hear (rainy scenes really could do with a bit of tweaking) but the photography more than makes up for and deficiencies so Im not gonna mention it.