»Filming a truly immersive and dimensional adaptation of a Kerouac novel remains an ongoing challenge for any filmmaker, but Polish’s film comes closer than most, while adding another layer of complexity to the author’s venerable reputation.«
The Hollywood Reporter
»'Big Sur' cracks the code of how to adapt Jack Kerouac for the screen.«
The New York Times
Jack Kerouac etched himself into the national self-consciousness of the United States. His body of work paved the way for the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s. He couldn’t enjoy the appreciation, because during the 1960s he stumbled from severe depression to the worst kind of alcohol abuse until he flamed out in 1969. He couldn’t cope with the fame. 1962, he ran away to California to spend time in a cabin owned by a friend – a chance to briefly get away from the fans, the media and basically himself. Michael Polish put these attempts to get a life that’s come apart at the seams back on track into film. He used Kerouac’s autobiographical Big Sur as the foundation of his narration. Kerouac’s text always paying more attention to rhythm and feeling than anything else. Polish uses this spirit and has his great lead actor Jean-Marc Barr do a grandiose stream-of-consciousness monologue, so good, that you are constantly tempted to hit the bottle. How much closer can you bring your protagonist to the audience? The beauty of California's coast is contrasted perfectly with the slow destruction of a genius’ life. A mayor coup in directing and acting.
Michael Polish and his twin brother, Mark (writer), followed their debut »Twin Falls Idaho« with »Jackpot« (Independent Spirit Award) and »Northfolk« - a »masterpiece«, claimed Roger Ebert – which won the German Independence Award. In 2011, Michael returned to Oldenburg with »For Lovers Only«. »Big Sur« premiered at Sundance.