Sudden fame and a self-destructive lifestyle were taking a toll on Jack Kerouac's mind and body following the unparalleled success of the groundbreaking novel, On The Road. Once the handsome literary maverick and hero of the Beat Generation, Kerouac now sees only a vestige of his former self, ravaged by alcohol and drugs, aged beyond his years and tormented by self-doubt. Questioning his talent, his faith, and his mortality, Kerouac leaves New York for California, on a quest for redemption at an isolated, fog-banked cabin in the primitive landscape of the Big Sur woods. What ensues in those fateful 3 weeks of August, 1960, is both terrifying and revelatory. While Kerouac is able to find beauty and elation in his surroundings, the dichotomy of his psyche renders him unable to face his demons alone. He sets off on a visceral collision course of paranoia, sex, delirium tremens, misery and madness. His desperation culminates in an intense, hallucinatory breakdown, but the duality of his ... Written by
After watching the "On The Road" movie and reading negative reviews about "Kill Your Darlings" I wasn't expecting much from "Big Sur". But I was very pleasantly surprised with how well it was done. The majority of the dialogue is voice-over in Kerouac's own words and other than a couple of minor details the movie stays true to the book. Jean-Marc Barr gave an excellent portrayal of Kerouac, even though he doesn't sound like him very much or even attempt to replicate Kerouac's accent. Patrick Fischler was great as Lew Welch and Henry Thomas offers up some of his best work as Philip Whalen. My only complaint is in the portrayal of the sub-story regarding the goldfish in Billie's apartment. Without giving anything away I'll just say that I didn't think it was handled very well.
Other than that the cinematography is absolutely beautiful and the soundtrack set the mood perfectly throughout the movie. I'm really glad that someone finally made a Kerouac movie the right way, by respectfully staying true to the book. This is easily my favorite movie of 2013 so far.
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