Some excerpts from reviews and a few tweets thrown in. I’ll update this post as I come across them, so check back every once in a while – Laura

With his whiskey-soaked, cigarette-stained voice and lived-in handsomeness, he cranks up several gears in star charisma to form the gravitational center of Motorcycle Diaries director Walter Salles’s long-awaited roadtripper … Stepping on the screen bare-ass naked, Hedlund might not be Brando but his decadent free spirit rapidly becomes the reason to watch Salles’s vibey, drifting movie.

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“Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart are great … Buoyed by the energy and youthful grace of his actors (to mention Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart, great), On the road nicely recounts this in-between age where everything is possible, just before there comes the time for regrets … ”

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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 … And as Hedlund’s previous work — except for the wretched “Tron: Legacy” — has demonstrated, he’s a young actor with charisma and skill, making Dean both engaging and reprehensible.

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The review from Drew at Hit Fix is awesome and it’s worth reading the whole thing. Here’s an excerpt:

“On The Road” does not feel like a dry history lesson, nor is it overly reverent toward its subjects. Instead, Salles, working with screenwriter Jose Rivera, managed to make something that has a pulse of its own, and that’s due in no small part to the casting of Garrett Hedlund and Sam Riley as Dean Moriarty and Sal Paradise. They have a strong, easy chemistry that pays off over the course of the film, and it provides a solid base upon which the rest of the film is built … This was a point in post-war America where morals seemed to be up for grabs, when people were trying to define some new way of life, and these characters never realized that they would become symbols of that quest. They were just chasing sensation and love and freedom, and the cast embodies that yearning with grace … Sal looks up to Dean for his ability to grab every sensation in life without hesitation or fear, and Dan looks up to Sal for his ability to turn these experiences into art. The real difference between them only becomes clear over time, as Sal begins to bloom into a more complete and healthy person, while Dean can’t help but run the moment something threatens to matter to him. There’s a sorrow that lies just beneath the surface of Dean’s decadent revelry, and Hedlund evokes that well.

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To recreate “on the road”the filmmaker had to choose the right actors to make the characters emerge from the novel. the two here are Kristen Stewart and Garrett Hedlund. Though she was still associated with Twilight, she made Marylou bold sexy and mature. She and Garrett related/interacted well. The scene where she… Manually stimulates… Dean who is driving, and Sal gives a proud gaze, is both provocative and amusing. Garrett Hedlund who is vaguely known for Tron bursts through the screen as Dean Moriarty. Between the sex drive and the pulsating music a mystical trance is created. It’s touching. Then as in the heart of the book we get a magnified view of life as pure vibration.

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Neutered of his natural charisma in all-ages blockbusters like Tron Legacy, Hedlund finally gets to make a strong impression here, wielding that window-shaking deep voice like a sensual weapon and inviting men and women alike to ogle him and eventually join him in bed.

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From VARIETY’s review:

But the meatiest thesping opportunities naturally go to Hedlund, who brings a winning, boyish quality to the id-on-legs that is Dean Moriarty. Though propelled by a feverish, even convulsive energy, Hedlund also gets moments of quiet reflection that encourage sympathy for Dean’s irresponsible behavior.


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From Entertainment Weekly:

The best thing in the movie is Garrett Hedlund’s performance as Dean Moriarty, whose hunger for life — avid, erotic, insatiable, destructive — kindles a fire that will light the way to a new era. Hedlund is as hunky as the young Brad Pitt, and like Pitt, he’s a wily, change-up actor. He gives Dean eyes that glitter with a seductive enthusiasm that borders on being a little cracked. Dean ricochets between the road rambles around America that he takes with Sal and Marylou and his constricted life as a husband and father in San Francisco with his wife, Camille (Kirsten Dunst). A hustler when he needs the money, he smashes through the boundaries of middle-class life because he doesn’t care about them, or even see them. He’s all now now now, his passion sloshing over the sides, but his feelings aren’t just sexual. They’re about his love for his friends, like Sal or Carlo, the film’s Allen Ginsberg character, played by Tom Sturridge with a postwar-Walt-Whitman-in-New-York boyish sweetness.

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Also good are the performances – it’s so hard to believe that the Garret Hedlund here is the same bloke from Tron: Legacy; talk about a cinematic transformation. Dean is a character overly idolised by the impressionable Sal and indeed by those who come in contact with him. He possesses a somewhat desirable lifestyle to many, yet he is laden with infinite sadness and stacking ill-fate which is shaded by his confident, care-free exterior. Hedlund’s demanding and layered lead performance is nothing short of fabulous and watching him shake away those lightcycle demons is beyond pleasing.

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As for his cast, Salles draws a star-making turn from Garrett Hedlund , who makes the story’s catalyst, magnetic drifter Dean Moriarty, both an irresistible cad and a genuine lost soul: seductive, affectionate, full of energy and appetites, but also narcissistic, self-loathing and selfish when push comes to shove.

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Sal and Dean’s friendship is one of the most fascinating in literature and I’m happy to say that it translates wonderfully to the screen, thanks greatly to Riley and Garrett Hedlund’s performances.

I have to imagine Hedlund felt the weight of the role pretty hardcore and it’s a testament to his work here that doesn’t transfer to his performance. He plays Dean with a perfect mixture of childlike energy and a politician’s charisma with an undercurrent of heavy emotion running through the whole performance like a smooth bass line.

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Still, the polite ripple of applause the film received after its Cannes press screening will translate into a more than polite ripple of box-office action for a commercially smart film that will attract both older audience nostalgic for the buzz Kerouac’s book gave them all those years ago and younger kids curious about the Beat mythology. For the latter demographic, the on-the-money casting of Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy), Sam Riley (Control) and Kristen Stewart (The Twilight Saga) will also exercise a pull. Nominations, when they come, will likely be for adapted screenplay (if only for the courage of finally rising to challenge), cinematography and, possibly, best actor for Hedlund (who smoulders like a young Brad Pitt in a camera-hogging performance).

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Although the opinions about the movie are not unanimous, divided into passions and cold receptions, there is a common point. The whole Croisette now thinks that Garrett can outrun Jean-Louis Trintigant (the favorite for “Amour”) in the fight for the best actor award.

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Tweets under the cut.

 

@wellshwood Walter Salles’ On The Road is masterful and rich and lusty, meditative and sensual and adventurous and lamenting all at once.

@MoviesOnVM On The Road: an overlong showcase for Garrett Hedlund’s charm. Without a doubt, Kristen Stewart’s steamiest role to date. -AS #cannes2012

@palacefilms can’t imagine a more authentic ON THE ROAD. breakthrough/ explosively good perf. by Garrett Hedlund. Dunst incandescent too.

@EmmaCharltonAFP Garrett Hedlund steals show in Kerouac’s cult ‘On the Road’ in #CANNES #cannes2012

‏@CrisP_90 “Garrett Hedlund is a great Dean, Kristen Stewart is the best Marylou you can have” via @ebwater #OTR #Cannes

@KerouacDotCom @maxiekat I believe we’ll likely get press inquiries so the producers wanted us to be prepared. The film is AMAZING!

@charlegillibert OTR. Applause at the press screening !!

@vonch: OTR ” It’s certainly a major contender for the Palme d’Or.”- Jeff Wells

Cannes - On the Road Review Excerpts and a Tweet or Two
Laura
23 May, 2012



This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012 at 6:20 am and is filed under On The Road. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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