[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Kill Your Darlings opens today in limited release.]
If poetry doesn’t broaden our view of our world and force us to push the boundaries of our lives, then it’s pointless. Poetry cannot always tap into the chaos and beauty of life if it must be constrained by meter, verse, and rules set down centuries ago. Poetry, when wielded by genius, can seduce, defend, condemn, and most importantly, transform. Words are powerful enough to change the world, but even in the hands of the most gifted writers, they can be futile against our frailties, insecurities, and desires. In his magnificent debut feature, director and co-writer John Krokidas has created a moving, exhilarating, and heartbreaking film in Kill Your Darlings. Led by breathtaking performances by stars Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, and Ben Foster, Kill Your Darlings watches the greatest writers of a generation push the boundaries of modern American culture only to find that even the best words, the most well-spoken words, the most honest words, can fail when spoken to a shattered heart.