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The Boston Globe

Movies

Movie Review

‘Kill Your Darlings’: Farewell, Potter; hello, Ginsberg

“Kill Your Darlings” is being sold as a crowd act, a generational portrait of the Beat writers when they were young and trying hard to be dangerous. In fact, John Krokidas’s strikingly assured debut feature is about the coming of age — emotionally, artistically, sexually — of poet Allen Ginsberg, who when the movie opens has no idea who he is. That Ginsberg is played by Daniel Radcliffe might come as a shock, but the shock wears off as the movie rolls on and you realize you’re in very good hands.

If the performance at last relegates Harry Potter to the actor’s past, which is nice and necessary, it’s not a Big Statement or any kind of Oscar grab. Actually, it’s better than that: Radcliffe is aware of his place in the ensemble and of his character’s place in the period, and his young Ginsberg is so full of words and passions that he can barely speak. Just in case you were still wondering: The kid’s got it.

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