Skip to main content

3.5 out of 4 stars

On The Road
Directed by
Walter Salles

Some films based on books are interpretations, some are realizations and some are wish fulfilment. To the latter camp belongs the long-awaited, longer-delayed On The Road. Directed not by a nostalgic American, but by Brazil's Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries), it's a beautifully peopled dream – Sam Riley plays Sal, Garrett Hedlund is Dean and Kristen Stewart riffs on Marylou – that feels at once bigger and emptier than Kerouac's portable classic. (Yes, even with a fresh, post-Cannes edit.) Scenery chews up the characters, save for some brilliant minor turns by Kirsten Dunst and Steve Buscemi. Famous, faithfully delivered lines fall short; infamous sex scenes fall through. The film is gorgeous, affecting, suitably scatter shot. But at the end, when writer-hero Sal Paradise finally bangs out the whole book in three minutes of screen time, you're left wondering: What took so long?

Sept. 7, 11:30 a.m., Bloor Hot Docs Cinema.

Report an error Licensing Options

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Please note that our commenting partner Civil Comments is closing down. As such we will be implementing a new commenting partner in the coming weeks. As of December 20th, 2017 we will be shutting down commenting on all article pages across our site while we do the maintenance and updates. We understand that commenting is important to our audience and hope to have a technical solution in place January 2018.

Discussion loading… ✨