Saturday, August 1, 2015

On the Road to Big Sur

Big Sur (2013) - Polish
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Interesting. Based on Jack Keruac's later book with the same name, Michael Polish (Twin Falls Idaho, Northfork) presents Kerouac (Jean-Marc Barr) as himself, not his alter ego in the book, Jack Duluoz, same as all his circle of friends, making appearance (by actors) as themselves. Jack is having a mid-life crisis of sort. He's tired of his fame and being the poster boy for the beat generation. He is a jaded alcoholic, afraid to commit to any relationship but also afraid to be left alone. His friend and a fellow poet Ferlinghetti (Anthony Edwards) has a log cabin in the woods and suggests he go there and play Emerson for a while. The beauty of nature impresses him but only few days in, he finds he's no Thoreau. He misses civilization and city life. He relapses to drinking and fooling around with his old and new friends in the city.

Keruac's friend Neal Cassady (Josh Lucas) has settled down with Carolyn (Rahda Michell) and kids, working at a tire garage. But he's as wild and impulsive as ever. He introduces Jack to his single mother mistress Billie (Kate Bosworth). It's a love at first sight for both. Jack invites her and bunch of friends to the cabin but his fear takes over and becomes uncertain of everything.

Jean-Marc Barr with a toupee does a convincing fast talking, slightly tortured American writer. Bosworth is great as Carolyn, having a hard time convincing Keruac to take the plunge. Polish whose sensibilities are always keenly tuned in to that of American West spirit, is a good fit for directing the late era Keruac stuff in the beautiful Northern California setting. I recommend this.

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