More features and docs than I can recall offhand (Heart Beat, Howl) have explored the lives of the legendary beats (Kerouac, Ginsberg, Cassady, Burroughs, et. al.) in the late ’40s and ’50s. And there are few genres more ubiquitous than the road movie. So where can Walter Salles, the maker of arguably the best road movie ever, take us on this well-trod path?
The character names have been changed, but Sam Riley is Jack Kerouac, Garrett Hedlund is Neal Cassady, Kirsten Stewart is playing Mary Lou (a character apparently not based on anyone), Viggo Mortensen is William S. Burroughs, Kirsten Dunst is Carolyn Cassady, and Amy Adams is Joan Vollmer, Burroughs’ common-law wife who was killed when Burroughs tried to shoot an apple off the top of her head.