On the Road

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“Jack Kerouac’s peerless anthem to the romance of youthful freedom and experience has finally made it to the screen with its virtues and spirit intact.” — Kenneth Turan, LA Times

Director: Walter Salles
Year: 2012
Country: Brazil
Running time: 137 mins
Censor Rating: R18 - drug use, sex scenes, offensive language

Producers: Nathanaël Karmitz, Charles Gillibert, Rebecca Yeldham, Roman Coppola
Screenplay: Jose Rivera. Based on the novel by Jack Kerouac
Photography: Éric Gautier
Editor: François Gedigier
Production designer: Carlos Conti
Costume designer: Danny Glicker
Music: Gustavo Santaolalla
CinemaScope

With: Garrett Hedlund (Dean Moriarty), Sam Riley (Sal Paradise), Kristen Stewart (Marylou), Amy Adams (Jane), Tom Sturridge (Carlo Marx), Danny Morgan (Ed Dunkel), Alice Braga (Terry), Elisabeth Moss (Galatea Dunkel), Kirsten Dunst (Camille), Viggo Mortensen (Old Bull Lee)

Festivals: Cannes (In Competition) 2012

Kristen Stewart and Garret Hedlund are the stand-outs in Walter Salles’ faithful account of the proto-60s youth liberation classic, straight from Competition at Cannes.

“Jack Kerouac’s On the Road has been heralded for decades: an important novel, a cultural signifier, a sociological landmark, a cracking good read. It’s also been considered ‘unfilmable’ – but now Walter Salles brings the novel to the screen, and his The Motorcycle Diaries turns out to be a pretty good template for understanding how Salles has shot his adaptation. On the Road, like Diaries, is scenic and episodic, full of youth’s passion but with a shade of the future yet to come dimming the brightness of its vision, as a charismatic young man travels with another young man, saying little but watching everything along the way…

Sam Riley is Sal Paradise, Kerouac’s stand-in for himself in the novel; Garret Hedlund is Dean Moriarty, based on Neal Cassady, the freewheeling and irresponsible sensation-seeker who pulls Sal into his wake. Riley has to carry the burden of being the viewpoint character… But as Hedlund’s previous work has demonstrated, he’s a young actor with charisma and skill, making Dean both engaging and reprehensible.

Kristen Stewart is Dean’s paramour Marylou, and seeing her liberated from the silly straitjacket of servile moping she has to perform in the Twilight films is a huge relief… And Viggo Mortensen and Amy Adams play the book’s stand-ins for William S. Burroughs and Jane Vollmer with drugged-up grit and gravel, a cautionary tale about to happen.” — James Rocchi, The Playlist

NZIFF STAFF PICK: Felicity Drace

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