Howl (2010) Allen Ginsberg's revolutionary 1956 poem "Howl" — a literary manifesto for the Beat Generation — gets a great reading from modern-day beatnik-star James Franco, playing… 2010-09-24 Unrated PT90M James Franco Mary-Louise Parker Jon Hamm Oscilloscope Pictures
Movie Review

Howl (2010)

MPAA Rating: Unrated
James Franco, Howl | IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT... James Franco plays Allen Ginsberg in Howl
Image credit: JoJo Whilden
IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT... James Franco plays Allen Ginsberg in Howl
EW's GRADE
B-

Details Limited Release: Sep 24, 2010; Rated: Unrated; Length: 90 Minutes; With: James Franco and Mary-Louise Parker; Distributor: Oscilloscope Pictures

Allen Ginsberg's revolutionary 1956 poem ''Howl'' — a literary manifesto for the Beat Generation — gets a great reading from modern-day beatnik-star James Franco, playing the poet with bebop passion. That's the cool part of this overloaded hybrid art-film project by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (The Celluloid Closet). Less cool and more effortful are Howl's reenactment of publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti's obscenity trial (Jon Hamm plays a defense lawyer) and the labored animated images that illustrate the poem as Franco recites it. B-

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Originally posted Sep 22, 2010 Published in issue #1122 Oct 01, 2010 Order article reprints