Saturday, February 8, 2014

Big Sur (2013) [R] ***

A film review by Elizabeth Weitzman, on Oct 31, 2013.

One day I will find the right words, Jack Kerouac wrote, and they will be simple. And perhaps one day a director will find the right way to adapt his words, and the solution will seem simple. But not today.

Today we are faced with yet another well-meaning but unsuccessful attempt to translate Beat poetry into big-screen beauty. Kerouac (portrayed by Jean-Marc Barr) published Big Sur in 1962, after his overwhelming popularity drove him to hide out in California with pals Lawrence Ferlinghetti (Anthony Edwards) and Neal Cassady (Josh Lucas). Barr drones much of the text in voice-over, while director Michael Polish trains his camera on spectacular Big Sur scenery.

The men drink, proclaim and complain in impressionistic, though rarely memorable, fashion. Kate Bosworth and Radha Mitchell are lovelorn and lovely as the perpetually overlooked partners. But with Kerouac declaring that the only thing that matters is the conceptions in my own mind, we’re still left waiting for the filmmaker who can take us there.

Labels: drama, Fifties

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