Previews: Movies Playing at Hamptons Film Festival

See many of 2013′s biggest movies at the Hamptons International Film Festival this weekend before they have their wide theatrical releases. Here are a handful to choose from.

August: Osage County

The East Coast premiere of Tracy Letts’ own screen adaptation of his Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play. August: Osage County is a sprawling drama centering on the deeply dysfunctional Weston family, set during a visit to the family seat in Osage County, Georgia. A product of the Chicago-based semi-experimental Steppenwolf Theatre company, the stage production of August: Osage County ran to three acts, with much shouting and shattering of crockery. It brought a taste of the avant-garde to Broadway—if only in the sense that Letts had the courage to let his audience remain bewildered by his characters’ motivations and actions. It will be interesting to see if he maintains that posture in this high-profile A-list film. With Sam Shepard, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ewan McGregor and more.

Nebraska

Nebraska is making a national splash as a sort of “finishing touch” for legendary and prolific lead actor Bruce Dern, who, at the age of 77, doesn’t get too many leads these days. The film, directed by Alexander Payne of Sideways fame, is a comedy about old coot Woody Grant (Dern) who is duped by a phony sweepstakes letter into believing he has won a million dollars. He ropes his good-for-nothing son David (Will Forte) into hitting the road in an effort to claim the prize. While he’s not liable to get a million bucks, one can only hope that the old guy gets some satisfying revenge against those who would prey upon the elderly. Featuring Stacy Keach and June Squibb.

Kill Your Darlings

Has there ever been a good film about the beat poets? Back for another shot at William Tell’s apple is Kill Your Darlings, a film set during the early ’40s when Allen Ginsberg, Lucien Carr, Jack Kerouac, and William Burroughs first come into contact in New York City. The handsome young Ginsberg is played by, of all people, Daniel Radcliffe—of Harry Potter fame—and it will be interesting to see if he can capture Ginsberg’s charisma, which was tied so much to the poet’s speaking voice. On the positive side, by setting the action early in these famous writers’ careers, before they were engaged in creating their masterpieces, the film may avoid the pitfall of most artist biopics: the stagy attempts to show that “moment of inspiration,” even when most people know full well it doesn’t happen like that.

Louder Than Words

Starring Sag Harbor’s own Hope Davis, Louder Than Words is a family oriented film, recommended for children aged 12 and up. Following the sudden death of their young daughter, a married couple, played by Davis and David Duchovny, are inspired to design and build a children’s hospital and to fight for better care for ailing children.

For locations and showtimes, visit For the complete HIFF schedule, go to hamptonsfilmfest.org.

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