The movie of Jack Kerouac’s classic Fifties beatnik novel On the Road is out this week – and it’s well worth seeing.
I was lucky enough to be invited to a preview and LOVED it. Kerouac was an alcoholic recluse when he died in 1969 at the age of 47, having failed to interest Marlon Brando in a screen adaptation of his novel, and for years the book was thought to be unfilmable.
But now director Walter Salles has brought it to life on the screen and although it’s received mixed reviews I reckon it works. Kate Muir, film critic of The Times, wittily described it as “a long-playing Abercrombie advertisement for beautiful young things” and she’s right. The movie is gorgeous to look at, no question, but it’s much more than that.
If you’ve ever thought of doing a road trip across America this stunningly-shot film will persuade you to hire a car (preferably a 1950s Cadillac) straight away, while Sam Riley as aspiring writer Sal Moriarty, Garrett Hedlund as Dean Moriarty and the mesmerising Kristen Stewart as Marylou, Dean’s wife, give stand-out performances.
So yes, the movie is rambling and hazy, but that’s how it should be. If you like jazz, writing, America and great cinematography, then don’t miss it.
On the Road, certificate 15, is showing in UK cinemas now.