On the Road Directed by: Walter Salles Starring: Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart Rating: Not Yet Rated Release Date: December 21, 2012
TRAILER SCORE: 7/10
Thoughts by TSR: “On the Road” is a novel that has continuously slipped by me, so I’m going into Walter Salles’ adaptation generally blind. I’m aware of the very basics, but while watching this trailer I had no idea just how faithful it is to Jack Kerouac’s source material. This is the first footage I’ve seen and I’m curious to see more, even if some of it feels a little off.
Without having read the novel, my biggest selling point has been the cast. In the past I have loved nearly everyone involved (though, so far I can take or leave Garrett Hedlund). The three leads – Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart and, yes, even Hedlund – all look to be doing fine work on their own. There’s just something about the chemistry between them that is a little off to me. The only moment that feels completely carefree is Hedlund and Stewart dancing. Indeed, other than the jolt of energy Viggo Mortensen offers, it’s my favorite thing in the trailer. I’ve been waiting for Sam Riley to give another performance on the level of his work in Control – among the very best performances of 2007 – so hopefully Sal Paradise offers him that. His voiceover is a bit grating, but his work elsewhere is appealing.
Whatever happens with the story and performances, at least we’ll be able to admire Eric Gautier’s warm, beautiful cinematography. I don’t know if it can live up to the novel’s stature, but I’m definitely interested to see the finished product.