[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. On the Road opens today in limited release.]
Jack Kerouac‘s On the Road is a novel that inspired a generation of restless young men and women to break free from their comfort zones, broaden their horizons, and look to the majesty of America. Walter Salles‘ On the Road is a film adaptation that will inspire a generation of lazy high school kids to watch the movie instead of reading the book. Salles snaps up the words of Kerouac’s novel, but not their spirit. The movie shouldn’t simply regurgitate the book because adaptation should be a work of inspiration and not imitation. But there’s nothing inspired about Salles’ picture. It’s safe where it should be dangerous. It’s lugubrious when it should be explosive. It’s derivative when it should be daring. Despite glimmers of an emotionally moving story, On the Road rarely has the energy to get up and bravely venture forth beyond the plot constraints of a book that’s not driven by its plot.
The first feature film adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s classic novel On the Road is finally slated for release this year, and now a new batch of images from the film has gone online. The studio has been releasing some nifty character posters over the past few weeks, but this group of images gives us a better idea of what to expect from the adaptation. I was quite a fan of the film’s trailer, and director Walter Salles’ (The Motorcycle Diaries) involvement is encouraging, so hopefully we’re in for a faithful iteration of Kerouac’s story that celebrates the spirit of the book.
Hit the jump to check out the images. The film stars Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, Tom Sturridge, Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, Amy Adams, Elizabeth Moss, Alice Braga, and Danny Morgan. On the Road is currently without a U.S. release date, but its slated to screen at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival in May.
We’ve got a few new posters to share with you today:
- On the Road—another character poster for the Jack Kerouac adaptation, this time featuring Tom Sturridge.
- The Iceman—a new poster for the true crime thriller starring Michael Shannon as a vicious professional hitman.
- Upside Down—an international poster for the whimsical, dual world love story starring Jim Sturgess and Kirsten Dunst.
Hit the jump to check them out.
Although Jack Kerouac’s novel On the Road was published more than fifty years ago, there has never been a film adaptation of it. All that changed when producer Francis Ford Coppola and The Motorcycle Diaries director Walter Salles signed on, adding Garret Hedlund (Tron: Legacy) as the starring role of Dean Moriarty. Now we have a look at the first trailer from the film, which is set to open in France this May with a possible domestic distribution pick up if and when the film premiers at Cannes (May 16th – May 27th). The Beat generation road trip film also stars Kristen Stewart, Sam Riley, Amy Adams, Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, Tom Sturridge, Danny Morgan, Alice Braga and Elisabeth Moss. Hit the jump to check out the trailer.
It looks like Emma Thompson’s long-in-development biopic Effie is finally gearing up for production. Thompson wrote the original script, which is a biopic of Effie Gray and centers on her doomed marriage to art critic John Ruskin in 1840’s London. Despite her beauty, Ruskin didn’t consummate the marriage and the devastated Gray eventually fell in love with Ruskin’s protégé, painter John Everett Milias. Deadline reports that Dakota Fanning will star in the title role, taking a part that was previously circled by Carey Mulligan and Saorsie Ronan.
Greg Wise (who is Thompson’s husband) will play Ruskin, and it appears that Tom Sturridge (Pirate Radio) will be playing Milias instead of previously mentioned Orlando Bloom. Rounding out the cast is Julie Walters and Derek Jacobi as Ruskin’s parents, Thompson as Lady Eastlake, the woman who takes the suffering Effie under her wing, and Edward Fox is in talks to play Eastlake’s husband. Production is set to begin October 17th in Scotland, London and Venice. Richard Laxton (An Englishman in New York) is directing.
Jeremy Irons (Appaloosa) and Kim Cattrall (Sex and the City) and Tom Sturridge (Pirate Radio) have signed on to star in The Treehouse. Originally titled The Master of Farnow, the film is set in “in pre-World War I Germany detailing the story of a failed student, his glamorous cousin, her mother and the student’s father.” According to THR, Lajos Koltai (Evening) will direct the $10 million production from a script by Paul Mayersberg (Croupier), based on a novel by Eduard von Keyserling.
Irons will next be seen in Margin Call, which was recently picked up from Sundance for an October 2011 release. Sturridge’s next big project positions the actor opposite Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, and Kristen Stewart in Walter Salles’ highly anticipated adaptation of On the Road.
Waiting for Forever tells the story of Will Donner (Tom Sturridge), a charismatic and carefree young man who has chosen not to follow the more traditional path of a career, in favor of the pursuit of the love he has for his childhood best friend, Emma Twist (Rachel Bilson). Will and Emma have not seen each other since they were kids, but that has not lessened his feelings for her, in any way. His quest to reconnect with her has taken him on a journey from city to city, where he always attempts to engage in conversation with her, but becomes paralyzed at the thought. Once the two finally do reunite, what initially seems a bit obsessive soon leads them both down a path of self-realization.
During the film’s press day, co-stars Rachel Bilson and Tom Sturridge talked about this unique love story, relating to their characters, learning to juggle, and the importance of childhood friends who help get you through the tough times. They also talked about their upcoming roles – Tom is in On the Road, opposite Kristen Stewart and Sam Riley, and Rachel just finished the comedy BFF & Baby, opposite Kate Bosworth and Krysten Ritter. Check out what they had to say after the jump:
Coded Pictures began production this week on the suspense drama Junkhearts in London, with a cast headed by Eddie Marsan (Happy-Go-Lucky), Tom Sturridge (Pirate Radio), Romola Garai (Atonement), and newcomer Candese Reid. The picture follows “a vulnerable ex-soldier haunted by his past, who finds himself manipulated by a young couple as they attempt to use his home as a drugs den.” This is director Tinge Krishnan’s feature debut with a script from Simon Frank (The Dry Cleaner). Hit the jump for the full press release.
It was an unusually warm day in November when I got word that there would be an advanced screening of Focus Features’ newest picture, Pirate Radio. In addition to the screening, I would get the chance to talk with Tom Sturridge, a bit of an acting newcomer who would serve as the film’s lynchpin, and the writer/director of the film, Richard Curtis. Well, I grabbed The Who’s Greatest Hits album, aptly titled after one of their greatest singles, My Generation, jumped in my Chevy and sped away towards midtown Manhattan.
Being a bit of a Richard Curtis fan for his work as a writer on one of Britain’s most celebrated sitcoms ever, Black Adder, and for his directorial debut with Love, Actually, to say I was amped up would probably be an understatement. I had also wanted to desperately see this movie since I had heard of it because I usually enjoy time-period pieces about one of my favorite subjects, the history of TV and radio. What I thought of the film and more after the jump: