Another quick capsule review, and yeah—I kind of enjoyed this one. I’m always somewhat fascinated at the inside look at the lives of the Beat generation poets, and this film gives us fine work from Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg, Jack Huston as Jack Kerouac and a hilarious Ben Foster as William S. Burroughs. It should probably come as no surprise that Foster, in particular, tickled my funny bone—in large part because he channeled the Peter Weller Burroughs interpretation from David Cronenberg’s 1991 adaptation of “Naked Lunch”. Foster gives a perfect youthful send-up of that role. You know, I’ve never seen a “Harry Potter” film(I know, I know…in due time. I was afraid to commit to such a long series!), but I’m impressed that Daniel Radcliffe is willing to take big risks. Between this and Broadway’s “Equus” a few seasons back, audiences are getting to know his naked form pretty well. And when did I get old enough that a pair of my fantasy women(Jennifer Jason Leigh & Kyra Sedgwick)were cast as two of the main characters’ MOTHERS! That was a shock to the system. “Kill Your Darlings” was written and directed by John Krokidas, and John keeps this jazzy, 1940’s period piece moving at an energetic clip. Taking place while Ginsberg was attending Columbia University in New York City, “Kill Your Darlings” not only chronicles the early lives of the Beat poets, but focuses on a tale of obsession and murder that took place right in their midst. Dane DeHaan—so impressive in 2012’s “Chronicle”—turns in a magnetic and enigmatic performance as the tragic Lucien Carr. And Michael C. Hall is effective as the stalking David Kammerer. There’s also excellent support work from Elizabeth Olsen, David Cross, John Cullum and David Rasche. It’s a compelling slice of history, that you probably don’t know too much about, that’s very well-acted by a spirited cast. Grade: B
reviews coming in January 2014: “Captain Phillips”, “August: Osage County”, “The Wolverine”, “Lone Survivor”, “The Wolf of Wall Street”, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”, and many, many more. Happy New Year!