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Big Sur2013

  • 3.8
An adaptation of American literary icon Jack Kerouac's novel of the same name, BIG SUR is a Michael Polish film that is at once a poetic meditation and a love letter to the work of an author who defined the Beat Generation.

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Member Reviews (2)

top reviewer

So many bad filmmaking decisions in the first four minutes I turned it off

top reviewer

Based on Kerouac’s 1962 novel BIG SUR which covered Kerouac’s visits to the Bay Area and sojourns at Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s cabin in Bixby Canyon in Big Sur, California. There is excellent photography of the Big Sur landscape (probably my most favorite natural setting) as well as an excellent cast depicting Kerouac (Jean-Marc Barr), Neal Cassady (Josh Lucas), Cassady’s wife Carolyn (Radha Mitchell), Lawrence Ferlinghetti (Anthony Edwards) and assorted other members of the Bay Area Beat Community of that period in time. About two-thirds of the film is narration using excerpts from Kerouac’s writings with the balance being scenes depicting his various encounters and interactions with others. I’m afraid that Kerouac’s writings from this period, at least in my opinion, fail to stand up very well. Rather they come across as mawkishly sentimentalized ravings of a sadly, pathetic disintegrating alcoholic whose activities to commune with nature and reconnect with old friends seem mostly excuses to continue his ever-present binges. It’s unfortunate that such capable expertise evidenced by the director Michael Polish couldn’t have been matched with better subject matter. I suppose one could enjoy this film if he or she wishes to engage in some sort of perverted schadenfreude.