KILL YOUR DARLINGS
Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Michael C. Hall
He’s got the Beat: Attitude cover star and Award winner Daniel Radcliffe takes on his first gay film role as the young Allen Ginsberg, in this original story about how the counterculture writers – who became the Beat Generation – first gelled together at Columbia University in the 1940s. It’s there that Ginsberg, future literary trailblazer, encounters Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) and William Burroughs (Ben Foster), although Kill Your Darlings concentrates on his relationship with, and unrequited love for, the beguiling but deeply troubled Lucien Carr (DeHaan) – himself in the vicelike grip of an obsessive older man (Dexter star Hall). Not in any way a dry history lesson, Darlings is in fact funked up and packed with intrigue, drug abuse, sexual experimentation, rebellion and even murder. As for Radcliffe, he really shines as the nerdy, shy, unconfident Ginsberg, tentatively exploring both his sexuality and his burgeoning literary prowess.
Billy Bob Thornton, Zac Efron, Paul Giamatti
A sober retelling of what the days surrounding JFK’s assassination were like for ordinary folk on the ground. Among them are Thornton as a Dallas Secret Service agent, Giamatti as Abraham Zapruder – who accidentally captured the assassination on Super-8 – and Efron as the hunky doctor on duty when the still-alive president is brought to Parkland Memorial Hospital. So it’s not all doom and gloom, at least from an eye-candy perspective, although Peter Landesman’s debut is too bland for its own dramatic good.
Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
If anyone is thinking of booking themselves onto a Virgin Galactic spaceflight, don’t – I repeat, don’t – see Gravity beforehand. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star as astronauts who end up stranded in space when a tsunami of whizzing satellite debris destroys their shuttle. While the A-list duo are frantically battling to survive in a zero-gravity setting, Gravity’s 3D effects will totally blow your mind: they are eye-poppingly awesome and the story is nerve-shreddingly tense.
Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Anna Maxwell Martin
Pair Judi Dench as a cute little old Irish lady with Steve Coogan as a cynical British hack and what do you get? A tasty sweet-and-sour dish spiked with humour and raw emotion. The two form a superb odd couple in this well-told tale about a real-life Irish woman trying to find out what happened to the son she was forced to give up 50 years earlier. Chuck in nasty nuns, a gay twist and Dench saying the word “clitoris”, and Philomena is a first-rate crowd-pleaser.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Toni Collette
Seinfeld and Sopranos fans will be in heaven in this loveable romantic comedy, which makes a match out of Jerry’s ex Elaine and mob boss Tony Soprano. Louis-Dreyfus is a neurotic massage therapist, Gandolfini is a teddy-bear divorcee and there’s added poignancy given the actor died of a heart attack in June. Even though her film makes him the butt of fat jokes, writer-director Nicole Holofcener isn’t dubbed the female Woody Allen for nothing: Enough Said is witty but never cheap.