Moving triumphantly away from the Harry Potter franchise, Daniel Radcliffe stars as Allen Ginsberg, one of the great poets of the beat generation in the period drama Kill Your Darlings. Directed by John Krokidas, the film follows Ginsberg through his earlier years as a writer, with excellent performances from Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan( as the seductive Lucien Carr) and Michael C. Hall as Carr’s obsessed lover.

To celebrate the release of Kill Your Darlings we take a look at other renowned writers whose lives inspired critically acclaimed and award winning movies.


2006, dir. Bennett Miller

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Oscar winning turn as journalist come novelist Truman Capote centres on the relationship that evolves between the writer and his subject. The infamous inspiration for In Cold Blood, Bennett Miller’s film focuses on Copote’s trip to Kansas with partner Harper Lee (Catherine Keener) to research the brutal killing of a family for an article. While investigating the story he becomes close to one of the killers through a common upbringing, causing conflict to arise between his professional and personal needs. The film was released on Capote’s 81st birthday, and Miller’s feature debut won Best Motion Picture of the Year at the Academy awards the following year. In Cold Blood is still regarded as one of the greatest crime books to date, with Capote spending six years on its completion.

6a00e5500ff5678833013488afdf66970c Agatha

1979, dir. Michael Apted

Agatha Christie’s unsolved 12 day disappearance in 1926 caused huge public speculation, and is the basis for Michael Apted’s 1979 film. Dustin Hoffman is Wally Stanton, a columnist who is due to interview Christie (Vanessa Redgrave) when she is announced missing. As he is without his subject Wally attempts to find Christie, falling in love with her in the process. The events play out in an uncannily similar fashion to Christie’s novels;  a no good husband played by Timothy Dalton approaches his wife for a divorce shortly before her disappearance and only a fur coat is left at the scene of her vanishing. To this date the reason for her disappearance is unknown, and whereas Apted’s depiction of the events is fictionalised Redgrave gives a valiant performance alongside Hoffman’s Walter.

shakespeare-in-loveShakespeare in Love

1999, dir. John Madden

One of the more adored films of the 90’s and the fuel for that Oscar speech from Gwyneth, Shakespeare in Love is a fruity, sweet account of the playwright and his affair with the beautiful Viola de Lesseps which became his inspiration for Romeo and Juliet. Joseph Fiennes is the troubled, broke Will Shakespeare who finds a muse in Viola, who is discovered after she disguises herself as a boy to audition for his play. Promised to the dastardly Lord Wessex (Colin Firth) and a life of restraint, Paltrow’s furious and forlorn Viola finds solace in Will and their doomed romance. A gorgeous supporting case including Judi Dench, Geoffrey Rush and Tom Wilkinson and a whopping ten Academy awards made this the most successful film on our list.

Out_of_Africa-fanart3Out of Africa

1985, dir. Sydney Pollack

One of the greatest on screen pairings of all time, Robert Redford is the Denys to Meryl Streep’s fiercely talented author Karen Blixen. Blixen moved to a Kenyan coffee plantation after marrying her unfaithful second cousin, and is alone and incomplete when she meets Redford’s liberating game hunter. Streep is the perfect Blixen, a woman faced with constant injustice from a husband whose infidelity causes her to catch syphilis and whose long business trips leave her isolated on the farm.  The affair is perfectly staged by Redford and Streep, and won her one of her many Oscars for leading actress in 1986. Whereas Out of Africa only encapsulates part of the Blixen’s long and eventful life it’s one of the more bittersweet chapters and makes for a great love story.

2011_midnight_in_paris_017Midnight in Paris

2011, dir. Woody Allen

Although not  a biopic or focused on one writer alone, Woody Allen’s nostalgic gaze lands firmly on the great names of the 1920s; F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemmingway, Gertrude Stein and songwriter Cole Porter to name but a few. They provide ample inspiration for Owen Wilson’s screenwriter Gil, who finds a means of travelling back in time at midnight while visiting his fiancé’s family in the French capital. Steeped in romance and with a cast only Allen could collate, including Tom Hiddleston, Marion Cotillard and Kathy Bates as Stein, this idyllic portrait of a golden era of literature and music is told through Wilson’s contemporary bumbling narrative.   

Kill Your Darlings is out in cinemas now, and you can read our review here – and watch our interview with Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan here.