James Franco gives a career-defining performance as the young Allen Ginsberg-poet, counter-culture adventurer, and chronicler of the Beat Generation-in Howl, the audacious film from Academy Awardr-winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. Franco as Ginsberg recounts the road trips, love affairs, and search for personal liberation that led to the most timeless, electrifying, and controversial work of his career: Howl. Pushing the limits and challenging the mainstream, the passionate and provocative Howl and its publisher found themselves on trial for obscenity, with prosecutor Ralph McIntosh (David Strathairn) setting out to have the book banned, while defense attorney Jake Ehrlich (Jon Hamm) fervently argues for freedom of speech and creative expression. The proceedings veer from the comically absurd to the passionate as a host of unusual witnesses (Jeff Daniels, Mary-Louise Parker, Treat Williams, Alessandro Nivola) pit generation against generation and art against fear in front of conservative Judge Clayton Horn (Bob Balaban).
Film runtime: 84 minutes