Some of the fall's biggest movies are still question marks, crammed with great casts or guided by great directors but still totally unseen by anybody-- even something as solid on paper as August: Osage County could fall apart in front of an audience. Luckily the season is also full of sure bets, movies that have premiered to huge acclaim at other festivals and are now, finally, making their way to theaters. It's been a long wait since Sundance for Kill Your Darlings, which blew me away back in January, but the film finally opens on October 18, and now everyone can start getting a look at what's in store through new clips like the one above, and the first trailer, which just premiered at Yahoo! and you can watch below:
Though in both the clip and the trailer you'll immediately spot Daniel Radcliffe, with curly hair and thick glasses, playing Allen Ginsberg as a freshman entering Columbia University in 1944, the clip-- and the movie itself-- is dominated by Dane DeHaan's Lucien Carr. Seen here reading aloud from one of several explicit books "restricted" by the campus library, Carr is a charismatic, wide-open libertine who introduces Ginsberg to everything from jazz music to William S. Burroughs (Ben Foster) and Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston), with whom they'll start what becomes the Beat movement. Unlike a typical biopic, Kill Your Darlings focuses with precision on a single event that changes the lives of all four men-- the murder, at Carr's hands, of a man named David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall). That's not a spoiler-- the film, which jumps around in time, reveals the murder at the very beginning-- but it's what leads to it, and what happens as a result, that makes up Kill Your Darlings' emotional, surprisingly wrenching center.
If you've seen Radcliffe through eight Harry Potter movies and never quite gotten the appeal, Kill Your Darlings will prove that he really is an actor worth watching, capable of calming down remarkably on film when there's no wand to hold or monsters to fight. And DeHaan, who's been a standout in everything from Chronicle to The Place Beyond the Pines and has a big upcoming role in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, is a wonder as Carr, commanding every bit of the audience's attention every time he's on screen. To understand what happens in Kill Your Darlings you have to understand Ginsberg's infatuation with Carr, and DeHaan creates a character who's not just interesting and fun to be around, but sexy and dangerous and thrilling in very specific ways.
Kill Your Darlings is making its way to the Toronto Film Festival this week before its October 18 release.