Kill Your Darlings

A murder in 1944 draws together the great poets of the beat generation in their youth: Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) and William Burroughs (Ben Foster). Elizabeth Olsen, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Michael C. Hall co-star in this whirlwind of a film, lavishly praised by the New York Times’ A.O. Scott: “KILL YOUR DARLINGS is at once a lurid true-crime chronicle and a coming-out story. Its vision of the past is stereoscopic, affirming Allen (Ginsburg)’s erotic self-discovery even as it explores the shadows of the closet where he and his friends must dwell. The idea that poetry can give expression to hidden, dangerous truths is given a specific content that explains some of the intensity of their commitment to it. The freedom to abandon rhyme and polite diction becomes the vehicle and symbol for other kinds of freedom. Allen’s triumph seems like a foregone conclusion: We know who he was, what he became, and how the world changed around him. But in 1944, all of that was far from self-evident, and the risks were enormous and terrifying. The achievement of KILL YOUR DARLINGS is to give a modern audience a taste of that terror, and also of the thrill and intoxication that went along with it. R. 104 Min.

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