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Academy Award–winning director Walter Salles (Central Station, The Motorcycle Diaries) and producer Francis Ford Coppola finally bring Jack Kerouac's legendary Beat Generation novel to the screen.
Finally brought to the screen by director Walter Salles and Puerto Rican screenwriter José Rivera (who previously collaborated on another unforgettable road movie, The Motorcycle Diaries) under the aegis of executive producer Francis Ford Coppola, Jack Kerouac's legendary literary testament to the Beat Generation has yielded a film as lyrical and liberated as its celebrated source. The film follows Kerouac stand-in Sal Paradise (Sam Riley) as he joins his charismatic friend Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund) on a wild, hedonistic trip along the highways and byways of postwar America, exploring various states of ecstasy via drugs, alcohol and sex. But hedonism, even of the transcendental kind, has its limits — and the power of both novel and film lies in the manner in which Sal starts to see through his best friend. Featuring outstanding performances by its two leads and dynamic supporting turns by Tom Sturridge (as the Allen Ginsberg analogue Carlo Marx), Kristen Stewart (as Dean's brazen lover), Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst, On the Road reveals the flip side of 1950s American conformity in all its poetically unkempt glory.