Despite boasting an all-star cast that includes Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, (Blonde) Kristen Stewart, Sam Riley (13), Kirsten Dunst, Alice Braga (Predators), Garrett Hedlund (TRON Legacy), Steve Buscemi, Terrence Howard and Mad Men‘s Elisabeth Moss, we actually haven’t covered much of Walter Salles’ (The Motorcycle Diaries) adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, which is being produced by Francis Ford Coppola.

Personally, I’ve been a longtime detractor of Kerouac’s seminal novel about the rise of the Beat Generation – I’m “Camp Thompson” (as in Hunter S.) when it comes to narcotics-fueled excursions that serve as ruminations on American life and society. Still, On the Road is a film worth noting as it has recently premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, so today we have the latest clips and a previously-released trailer for the film to share.

In case you are unfamiliar with Kerouac’s novel, here is a quick synopsis of On the Road:

Following the death of his father, struggling young writer Sal Paradise (Sam Riley) embarks upon a journey with his friend and hero, Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund), traveler and mystic. Dean and Sal are the portrait of the Beat Generation. Their search for “It” results in a fast-paced, energetic roller-coaster ride with highs and lows throughout the U.S.

Now check out a trailer and a few clips that show the all-star cast of young actors recreating a pivotal point in the history of American youth culture:

 Aside from Kristen Stewart’s fetching look as a blonde, and some gorgeous photography/cinematography from Salles and Eric Gautier (Into the Wild, Motorcycle Diaries), the most noticeable thing about this footage is the middling quality of the acting. Riley, Hedlund and Stewart don’t really sell the love triangle of the story in their tepid interactions – and the lack of chemistry again resurfaces in the scene between Dunst and Riley. The stiff atmosphere is only more ironic when you consider that the Beat Generation were supposed to be young men and women of unbridled spirit and passion. Granted, we haven’t seen much from some of the stronger actors in the cast – Buscemi, Howard, Adams and Mortensen – but if the young leads aren’t able to carry things sufficiently, the show will quickly begin to unravel.

Buzz from the Cannes Film Festival has been both positive and negative – with much of the talk inevitably veering off into discussion of Stewart’s multiple nude scenes. If that’s the sort of thing you’re interested in:

On the Road will hit theaters sometime TBD in 2012.

Source: MK2 Productions