From the Hollywood Reporter (thanks @purplefair and anitaviv at IMDB for a lot of these links!)

There are two strong points about the film that deserve particular mention.

First and foremost, the casting: Hedlund, heretofore best known for Country Strong and TRON: Legacy (both 2010), is clearly a star, a masculine guy with a megawatt smile who is able to walk into a scene and immediately takes it over; Riley has the less colorful male part, but does a nice job narrating the action in a film-noir style, just as he did in Brighton Rock (2010); and Stewart actually seems to be having fun, which is more than one can say about many of her other performances, however talented she may be. (I must say, though, that I found it surprising that she was willing to go topless for several scenes of the film, considering how closely she has guarded her privacy when it comes to other aspects of her life, and rightfully so.)

Second, the pacing: the film does manage to capture the sense of constant and hyperkinetic movement that is conveyed in the novel — these characters are always driving, screwing, dancing, drinking, smoking, and writing, often simultaneously. (How they are able to afford to do all of this — even if they do lie, cheat, and steal a lot — is not entirely clear to me.)

There is, in fairness, a major criticism that one can level against the film, as well: perhaps out of a desire to be as faithful as possible to the novel, it is ultimately a bit too long and rambling, and never really makes clear why the story at its center is timeless and relevant to the youth of today.

If the film is to generate any awards attention, it will probably be in the best supporting actor category for Hedlund, though even that is a long shot. Still, for all associated with the film, it should feel like reward enough to know that they accomplished what so many others were unable to for so long.


More reviews under the cut and you guys know the drill – I’ll update this post as I come across more.


 From Movie City News 

In a film, of course, you can’t really get away with having one of your main characters just be sitting there and observing for two hours, you have to convey the experiences Kerouac relates as his own stand-in, Sal, in a way that shifts Sal into something more of a protagonist as well, and both script and direction pull that off quite nicely. Dean, as the primary “hero,” is an archetype of a young American man with a hedonistic disregard for consequences. He desires to be the intellectual he might have been with a different sort of upbringing, and he’s capable of slinging around bullshit and shifting his moral values on the fly with a casual shrug and wry grin. As much as he’s a character, Dean is also an abstraction of an idea, a time and a place filtered through Sal/Kerouac’s memory; memory in turn serves as a prism refracting not necessarily Dean/Neal in any purely objective sense, but as some amalgamation of who he might actually have been, and who Kerouac wanted him to be, or at least thought he was at the time.

The film has to make Dean more of a concrete character, a likable, relatable protagonist in spite of his inherent and very evident flaws, and that it succeeds is due in large part to solid direction of the cast and a terrific performance by Garrett Hedlund, whose star power should be rising quickly. Almost — almost — I could empathize with Marylou (Kristen Stewart) and Camille (Kirsten Dunst), the women Dean blithely uses and sets aside, uses and sets aside, while they keep coming back for more, as if there’s some affirmation in having Dean’s attention, however fleeting it may be. And Hedlund pulls off that magnetism and charisma here; his intensity in this film somewhat reminds me of early James Franco — all quicksilver intensity and burning intelligence.

Go to the SOURCE to read the rest of this well written, thoughtful review 


From Life on the Geek Side

Now, the star in my opinion was easily Garrett Hedlund as Dean Moriarty. If Sam and Tom gave life to their characters, Garrett yanked him right out of the pages; he had the swagger, the charm and that attarction that made Dean-well.. Dean.He was an imbodiement of inspiration adventure, Hedlund potrays the highest of highs – of living in the moment, for adventure and the fast life and the lowest of lows that are the consequences,- with skill and grace not shying away from the shocking or revealing he was just perfect as this manfiestation of inspiration. His last moment with Sal was heart breaking as he mutters “love you ever, Sal”.




From Cobweb

The best discovery (and there are many) in On the Road—a 21st century film production of a definitive piece of 20th century literature—is that the cult novel has been so seemlessly adapted to a fine screenplay. There was plenty of reason for skepticism, and I must admit to my own dose of doubt, but I can report that On the Road is one of the best films of 2012, and certainly one of the most beautiful.

But On the Road’s beauty isn’t found in sunwashed glamour. Instead, we’re asked to travel America’s backroads, visiting the cold water flats and back alleys of a nation in search of its post-war soul. It’s terribly ironic that the film is a co-production among United States, Brazilian and French movie studios.

The film is packed with one of the most diverse supporting casts in recent memory: Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, Steve Buscemi, Kirsten Dunst and Terrence Howard all show up, with an increasing level of Bohemian one-upmanship. But the stars above the title are Sam Riley as the iconic Sal Paradise and Garrett Hedlund as Dean Moriarty. Hedlund is destined for stardom. He burns like a roman candle.

And then, of course, there is Kristen Stewart, the current queen of the tabloids. For the record, she’s pretty great here. But the papparazzi of Toronto, which becomes Hollywood North every September, are snapping Stewart’s every move, and screaming out rather rude questions about her personal life. But these are entertainment “journalists,” who aren’t the least bit interested in On the Road, and I doubt they could spell Kerouac, even if you spotted them a few vowels.

On the Road is destined for the art-house world. It’s not going to entertain anyone who thinks that Transformers is a fine movie. But if discerning audiences find this film, and I’m pretty sure they will, they’ll realize that it’s worth the trip.




Dean Moriarty is one of the most charismatic figures in all of literature, so Hedlund has a near-impossible task. He certainly shows more range than in, say, “Tron Legacy,” but the fact that he isn’t an atom bomb of beauty, grace and charm is, I think, key to this film. Even though the Beats were expert at perpetuating their own PR (so much of their work is about how great they all are) they were, you know, just guys. Young guys who thought they knew a lot more about life than they actually did. (That is, except for the spaced-out sage William Burroughs, played for marvelous laughs in quick scenes by Viggo Mortensen).

Hedlund’s normalcy takes the myth of “On the Road” down a peg. The film isn’t a whirlwind of handsome hepcats living a jazz lifestyle in photogenic locations. That’s a Ralph Lauren catalogue, not a film. When we watch Hedlund become an irresistible sex object to Kristen Stewart, Kristen Dunst, Tom Sturridge, Steve Buscemi and this one brunette who puts uppers in her tea it suddenly becomes about a real person, not just an archetype.

The entire B+ review is at the SOURCE 

On the Road - TIFF Reviews Roundup
08 Sep, 2012

This entry was posted on Saturday, September 8th, 2012 at 8:00 pm and is filed under Articles, 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.

One Response to “On the Road – TIFF Reviews Roundup”

Comment by Robin Rose Bicoff
In September 8, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

When the heck is that movie coming out? Is he still with his co-star or did Kirsten move in on him too. ?


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