I was worried about Garrett Hedlund after seeing TRON: Legacy. That was not a good movie. And he... wasn’t good in it. But he didn’t seem in a hurry to do much else after Country Strong. After seeing On The Road, now I know why. Whoever is managing his career was confident enough in what Hedlund delivered, knowing that once people see this performance, new opportunities would present themselves soon enough.

He is so unexpectedly terrific in this film, it’s a major career-maker. There’s no inhibition. He doesn’t hold back. He goes flat out. As such, his Dean Moriarty is unforgettable. He is all charisma, super sexy, a selfish prick, an irresponsible fool, stupid, endearing, and captures exactly what I’ve wanted of the character since the first time I read the book. As I wrote two years ago after interviewing Hedlund at Comic-Con:

I had a big brother crush on Dean the first time I read On the Road. The second time I read On the Road I thought he just needed me to fix him. We were in love. The third time I thought we’d find each other but only much later in life. The fourth time I called him a loser. The fifth time, just two years ago, I loved him all over again but knew I’d have to leave him in the end. And these are only my projections. There are millions of others who see Dean an entirely different way.

On The Road is far from a great film. But Hedlund’s is a great performance. It’s a brave performance. And I can’t wait for you to see it.

Here he is with Kirsten Dunst yesterday at the photo call and the premiere. I’m telling you, again, he has never looked better. I like the headpiece she had on in the afternoon. Like the returning Queen of the festival.