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Wick's Review

Created Sep 10, 2022 08:02AM PST • Edited Apr 06, 2023 06:09PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. OK 2.5

    Big Sur destroys Jack Kerouac’s legend, revealing the beatnik icon to be a self-pitying, self-absorbed alky. Generations of young romantics were awestruck by the celebrated author, pining for his life On The Road. I’ve long been one of those romantics, so was eager for a peek. But, as it’s said, never meet your heroes.

    Kerouac was a literary superstar off one book – On The Road. Big Sur was another novel of his, inferior and more autobiographical than On The Road, and full of turgid writing. We went here and then we went there. Everywhere they went, they went to get drunk. Kerouac conflated drunkenness with sophistication.

    The other fascination of Big Sur is its primary setting, Big Sur itself, an edenic and revered place. Unfortunately, Michael Polish’s film is largely Big Sur noir: drained of color, dark and depressed.

    Bottom Line

    Kerouac fans might want to steer clear, but for Big Sur fans, this is a must-see, albeit disappointing, movie.

  3. Good 3.0

    Jean-Marc Barr disappoints playing the disappointing Jack Kerouac, too bad for him.

    • Josh Lucas disappoints as that legendary hunk of American man – Neal Cassady. Lucas is never less than appealing, but Cassady was über appealing.
    • Radha Mitchell strikes a sharp figure as Cassady’s long suffering wife, Carolyn.
    • Anthony Edwards is suitably wan as poet, and bookstore + cabin owner Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
    • Kate Bosworth lights up the screen as a golden girl with the hots for Kerouac.
  4. Male Stars Barely OK 2.0
  5. Female Stars Very Good 3.5
  6. Female Costars Good 3.0
  7. Male Costars Good 3.0
  8. OK 2.5

    “Emotional constipation” declares the great Jack Kerouac, which the film suggests with cello music.


    • Ketchup Entertainment
  9. Direction Good 3.0
  10. Play Barely OK 2.0
  11. Music Good 3.0
  12. Visuals Good 3.0

    The San Francisco scenes are period-piece gold.

    Trooping down to Bixby Beach is quite special, even if the cinematography is needlessly depressed.

  13. Content
  14. Risqué 2.4

    Jack Kerouac was a raging alcoholic, an accepted and emulated form of existence among the beatniks.

  15. Sex Titillating 1.9
  16. Violence Fierce 2.4
  17. Rudeness Profane 3.0
  18. Glib 1.4

    Sexual politics: Jack Kerouac was fatally attractive to women for his money as much as for his writing. Thus, they saw the fact that he couldn’t commit to marriage as a lifestyle F-U as much as a romantic one.

  19. Circumstantial Glib 1.6
  20. Biological Glib 1.5
  21. Physical Natural 1.0


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