Howl – Movie Review

Saturday, December 10 th, 2016 at 00:12 am 
Howl
Howl

Howl – Movie Review

SYNOPSIS

A drama centered on the obscenity trial Allen Ginsberg (Franco) faced after the publication of his poem, Howl.

JOY’S REVIEW

Howl is a story of Allen Ginsberg with a great cast. James Franco plays Ginsberg. David Strathairn plays the prosecution lawyer. Jon Hamm plays the defense layer. Bob Balaban plays the judge. With cameos by Treat Williams, Mary-Louise Parker, and Jeff Daniels. You can see this is a big deal, serious kind of movie. It’s shot mostly in black and white. Allen Ginsberg was part of the 1957 obscenity trial, in which his poem, “Howl”, was viewed as obscene. This movie’s heart certainly is in the right place; it’s got a great cast. James Franco is a charming actor who is doing everything these days. The problem is that it’s awfully talky, and the scenes in the courtroom just aren’t vibrant enough to make you care about the rest of it. Ginsberg reads his own poetry at the end and he’s absolutely fascinating. I give this some credit for originality and for a worthwhile subject, but as entertainment, two stars.

JOY METER