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Film: On The Road

On paper, there was no one better than director Walter Salles to take the helm of the big screen adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s highly revered beat generation epic On The Road, the partly autobiographical, state-of-the-nation, travel journal-cum-novel that occupies a spot among the upper echelons of American literature.

Salles took Che Guevara’s The Motorcycle Diaries and made it a humorous, insightful, politically astute road movie, a tale of awakening of the soul and the mind.

On The Road captures the same sense of changing times, as aspiring writer Sal (an excellent Sam Riley) crisscrosses 1950s America with Garrett Hedlund’s Dean Moriarty, a free-wheeling, responsibility-shirking drifter whose unshackled view of life and the world chimes with Sal’s longing for escapism.

Yet while its meandering narrative captures the unpredictability of life on the highway, in society’s hinterlands, it struggles to capture an affecting emotional journey.

Sal’s growth from smitten boy to wise young man, and Dean’s journey from object of envy to sympathy, is subtly performed yet regrettably understated.

Good for: Seeing a literary classic transposed to the screen with too much fidelity.
Starring
: Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart | 15 | 124mins

Film: Ruby Sparks

Paul Dano, the man whose milkshake got proper drunk by Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood, stars in this quirky rom-com by the Little Miss Sunshine team.

Dano’s aspiring writer Calvin’s work gets especially real when his book’s central character, Ruby (Zoe Kazan), comes to life. How will he deal with a make-believe girlfriend that is actually very, very real?

Starring: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan | 15 | 104mins 

On general release from October 12

 

Film: Hit and Run

Dax Shepherd (Employee Of The Month) stars as a former getaway driver who is under witness protection.

His past catches up with him in the shape of Bradley Cooper’s former crim-pal, who’s freshly out of jail and seeking revenge.

A chase movie mixing The Hangover with Road Trip, also starring Kristen Bell as a misled girlfriend, this will soar or crash on its eccentricity.

 On general release from October 12

Theatre: Bully Boy

Sandi Toksvig’s heartfelt two-hander brings an inarticulate squaddie accused of gross misconduct (Joshua Miles) face-to-face with an educated, wheelchair-bound Falklands veteran (Anthony Andrews).

This short and thoughtful production is a reminder about the internal conflicts men serving overseas can bring home.

St James Theatre
12 Palace Street, SW1E 5JA.
Until Oct 27. £20+  Victoria 
stjamestheatre.co.uk

 

Theatre: Let It Be

There’s barely a dozen lines in this tribute show, basically a chronological string of more than 20 of The Beatles’ hits.

The songs are ageless and the cast does a thoroughly decent job of demonstrating the talented Liverpudlians’ versatility, while background projections recall the moments that shaped the era.

Prince of Wales
Coventry Street, W1D 6AS.
Until Jan 19. £20+ 
Tube | Piccadilly Circus 
letitbelondon.com

Comedy: Danny Bhoy – Dear Epson

Edinburgh comedian Danny Bhoy reads letters he has written moaning, complaining and telling others, often large multinational companies, how he knows better than they do.

Irreverent, irrelevant, yet sure to strike a chord with anyone who has ever wondered about those little annoyances that mean so much.

The Bloomsbury Theatre
15 Gordon Street, WC1H 0AH
Oct 10-12. £15 
Tube | Euston 
thebloomsbury.com

Exhibition: Turner Prize 2012

The Turner Prize returns to Tate Britain, with four artists’ work shortlisted for this year’s award: performance artist Spartacus Chetwynd, filmmaker Luke Fowler, painter Paul Noble, and Elizabeth Price, for a trilogy of video installations.

This year’s winner of one of visual art’s top gongs will be announced on December 3.

Tate Britain
Millbank, SW1P 4RG
Until Jan 6. £10
Tube | Pimlico 
tate.org.uk


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