Opening wider or starting a select city run are About Time and Kill Your Darlings. Let’s start with director Richard Curtis’ About Time, from its official synopsis:
At the age of 21, Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) discovers he can travel in time. The night after another unsatisfactory New Year party, Tim’s father (Bill Nighy) tells his son that the men in his family have always had the ability to travel through time. Tim can’t change history, but he can change what happens and has happened in his own life—so he decides to make his world a better place…by getting a girlfriend. Sadly, that turns out not to be as easy as you might think. Moving from the Cornwall coast to London to train as a lawyer, Tim finally meets the beautiful but insecure Mary (Rachel McAdams). They fall in love, then an unfortunate time-travel incident means he’s never met her at all. So they meet for the first time again—and again—but finally, after a lot of cunning time traveling, he wins her heart. Tim then uses his power to create the perfect romantic proposal, to save his wedding from the worst best-man speeches and to save his best friend from professional disaster. But as his unusual life progresses, Tim finds out that his unique gift can’t save him from the sorrows and ups and downs that affect all families, everywhere. There are great limits to what time travel can achieve, and it can be dangerous, too.
Usually romantic comedies aren’t my cup of tea (yes British pun intended). I watched the trailer for this and thought it looked surprisingly funny and let’s be honest, Bill Nighy is awesome. After watching the film, what did I think? I liked it. I kinda like it a lot actually. It’s witty and charming and has heart which usually doesn’t do much for me, but it’s not sentimentally sticky or too sweet. I think there’s too much talent involved for it to be too mushy.
Again, Bill Nighy is brilliant. Whether it’s a leading role, a bit role or a random cameo, he really can’t do any wrong. Rachel McAdams has made a career doing these types of movies, but she does them well. Plus in this she actually looks the shy type surprisingly. I wasn’t overly familiar with Domhnall Gleeson, but he’s the son of Brendan Gleeson and it shows. I’m a big fan of Brendan’s and I can see myself becoming one of his son’s with more films like this. Director Richard Curtis has become a bankable commodity in this genre and this will definitely win over his crowd.
Although the most surprising thing about this romantic comedy is, it actually gets the science aspect right! It takes the Butterfly Effect into account, changes timelines because of actions taken in the past and creates a new timeline. Looper and Source Code could learn a lesson from this. I rather enjoyed About Time. It reminded me of another Curtis film, Pirate Radio which I rather enjoyed too.
As for Kill Your Darlings, well the official synopsis for that is about a mile long so I’ll make it brief. Daniel Radcliffe plays famous poet Allen Ginsberg in his early days going to Columbia University where he meets Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan). Lucien introduces him to William Burroughs (Ben Foster), Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) and the older David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall). When love, jealousy and obsession enter the group, Lucien is arrested for killing David. Allen tries to unravel the mystery behind the death and all the connections Lucien has to David.
Kill Your Darlings is a solid character film with solid acting based on the true life events that began Beat Poetry. Radcliffe is definitely trying to shed his Harry Potter image and films like this will help. He’s turning into a good actor who we will be seeing more of in dramatic roles. Ben Foster is one of the most underrated actors going, hopefully that Lance Armstrong film he is doing will push him into the limelight. I was a big Dexter fan so I like Michael C. Hall. But the big winner here is Dane DeHaan. DeHaan is the new Emile Hirsh, the indie darling with some mainstream success that seemed to come out of nowhere. The more I see of DeHaan, the more I like.
There’s been a lot of films made about the Beat Poets. I’m not a huge fan of their work, but I have read Keruoac’s On The Road. This is definitely better than that screen adaptation that starred Kristen Stewart. Overall I liked Kill Your Darlings because of the acting. I wasn’t sure what to expect going in and I’m not sure if I’d watch it again, but Radcliffe and DeHaan do a great job capturing and holding your attention. Plus Foster does a great Burroughs. People who know/like the real life writers will probably enjoy this. It’s pretty racy at times and a bit out there with the drug factor, but it’s well made and nicely performed.