This evening we watched the film, The Road, with some trepidation. Cormac McCarthy’s novel, on which the film is based, is quite simply a literary masterpiece. Could a film live up to it? Clearly not, from a purely literary point of view. But could it deal effectively with the same themes that McCarthy confronts? The answer is just as clearly ‘yes’. This is not a film to watch if you are feeling down or depressed but despite all the ghastliness and horror it nevertheless ends on the same ambiguous upbeat note as the novel: even in a Hobbesian post-apocalyptic world of cannabalism and worse, idealism and fellow-feeling will survive in humanity and may just ultimately be able to re-colonise the world. Neither the novel nor the film guarantee this, but they give us hope that there will always be a few ‘good guys’ carrying ‘the fire’.