In On the Road, Walter Salles’ reverent, almost painfully literal adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s birth-of-the-Beat-spirit novel, the characters keep getting high on one thing or another: drugs, twisty jazz dancing, unbridled sex, poetic streams of language. On a car ride to nowhere, Sal (Sam Riley), the Kerouac figure, gets naked with Dean (Garrett Hedlund), the life-force stud narcissist modeled after Neal Cassady, and Marylou (Kristen Stewart), Dean’s naively game ex-wife. The odd thing about the movie, which is set in the late ’40s and ’50s, is that even as we’re observing all of this mad sensual activity, it’s staged with a kind of museum-piece diligence. The best thing here is Hedlund’s wildly cracked acting as Dean, whose hunger for life — erotic, insatiable, destructive — kindles a fire that will light the way to a new era. Yet what Salles doesn’t conjure is the rapture of Kerouac’s bohemian romanticism. Wthout it, On the Road is a remote experience, all reason and no rhyme. B-
'ROAD' TRIP Jack Kerouac's novel finally comes to life in this star-studded film
Genre: Drama; Starring: Amy Adams, Steve Buscemi, Kirsten Dunst, Garrett Hedlund, Viggo Mortensen, Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart, Terrence Howard, Elisabeth Moss; Director: Walter Salles; Release Date Wide: 12/21/2012; Runtime (in minutes): 123; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: MK2
Posted January 9 2013 — 12:00 AM EST
- Even Taylor Swift's mom thought it was 'Starbucks lovers'
- Two of B.B. King's daughters allege father was poisoned by employees
- Hear Icona Pop's new single 'Emergency'
- 'It' on hold; director Cary Fukunaga exits
- 'Jurassic World' director Colin Trevorrow dishes on deadly new dino Indominus Rex
- Drake: 'Madonna' out, 'Rihanna' in?
- Ben Stiller tweets about mom Anne Meara
- 15 scary movies we saw as kids... that still haunt our nightmares
- Summer Movie Preview: 10 must-see documentaries
- 'Fear the Walking Dead' First Look: 7 photos from the set
- Cannes 2015: What's buzzing in film and fashion
- 'Survivor': Meet 20 alums you picked for a 'Second Chance'
- Christina & Matt, Kendall Jenner, Jordin Sparks & More!