Picks and Pans Review: "Heart B Beat"
Though only dedicated aficionados of Beat Generation lore will fully appreciate this slice of the on-the-road myth surrounding '50s literary avantgardists Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady, the film is more than cultish indulgence. While erratically paced and maddening in its omissions (Kerouac's bisexuality is ignored), the script is otherwise faithful to its inspiration: the unsentimental saga of the two men written by fellow traveler Carolyn Cassady. Sissy Spacek again shows her remarkable range as the sophisticated Carolyn, traversing an emotional minefield between John Heard's sensitive, gentlemanly Jack and Nick Nolte's primal, self-centered Neal. Laszlo Kovacs' inspired cinematography raises just another picaresque epic of gettin' high and gettin' by into real artistry. The film even makes self-destructive impulses seem more poignant than puerile. (R)
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