Big Sur (2013)
An adaptation of American literary icon Jack Kerouac's novel of the same name, BIG SUR focuses on a moment in Kerouac's life when, overwhelmed by the success of his opus On the Road and struggling to battle inner demons, he seeks respite in three brief sojourns to a cabin in the small, coastal California town of Big Sur. Michael Polish's film is at once a poetic meditation and a love-letter to the work of an author who defined the Beat Generation. (c) Ketchup
as Jack Kerouac
as Neal Cassady
as Carolyn Cassady
as Lawrence Ferlinghett...
as Philip Whalen
as Michael McClure
as Lew Welch
as Vulture Girl
as Lady Dining
as Party Girl
as Bar Patron
as Emily Cassady
as Beatnik Partygoer
as Naked Hot Springs St...
as Deli Customer
as Mrs. McClure
as Timmy Cassady
as Orderly Johnson
as Restaurant Patron
as Victor Wong
as Bus Passenger
as Paul Smith
as Paul Smith
as Paul Smith
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Critic Reviews for Big Sur
...works as a kind of tone poem, drenching the senses in beautifully sad imagery, as Kerouac's poetry and prose sound over images of the sparkling Pacific.
Clearly edited to evoke a feeling of slipstream, stream-of-consciousness connection, but little more than a rolling delivery service of smugness, self-destruction, hedonism and pretentiousness.
Big Sur rises and fades, shifts and moves, through movements and melodies, singing a beautifully sad song for an era and a man who lost his way.
Competent adaptation of Jack Kerouac's swan song. Those expecting a groovy good time should look elsewhere since this is a movie about a nervous breakdown.
A strangely tepid experience for such searing psychological material.
"Big Sur" cracks the code of how to adapt Jack Kerouac for the screen.
Sometimes feels like a beautiful illustration, rather than an adaptation, of Kerouac's prose.
It feels like we get closer to the real Kerouac here, the man behind the book, unable to escape its shadow.
With Kerouac declaring that "the only thing that matters is the conceptions in my own mind," we're still left waiting for the filmmaker who can take us there.
Polish's agonizingly dull adaptation of Jack Kerouac's Big Sur unwittingly illustrates why movies continue to be the Beats' Kryptonite.
Nobody's given the opportunity to do much more than brood prettily and occasionally shout carpe diembromides into the pounding surf.
Some of the performances -- Mitchell, Fischler and especially Lucas -- are lively, but Barr never gets under Kerouac's skin to show the pain of an artist who can't hold his life together.
Don't worry if you don't connect. There's nothing to connect to. The characters are never developed, and nothing ever happens.
A work that accurately expresses the awfulness of narcissistic self-destruction, and nothing else.
You don't have to be a Beat cultist to wonder why these brilliant and transgressive volcanoes of authentic cool are so friggin' boring.
The viewer is informed of a world of chaos, obsession, and irresolution, but has no cinematic means of accessing or understanding it.
Offers an elegantly muted take on the midlife ennui of Kerouac's autobiographical 1962 novel.
An intuitive approach to this literary classic yields dividends for both style and performance.
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