By Eva Medoff, July 15th, 2010
If James Franco has been surfing a wave towards a mixture of high brow avant garde figure and A list movie star, then Howl is the climax of his transformation. Franco plays Allen Ginsberg in a movie based on the poet’s most famous work and the beat writers surrounding it. It’s the 50s, and the social tides are just beginning to churn: the Howl is deemed profane and a lawsuit seeks to block its distribution. Jon Hamm takes a turn as Ginsberg’s defense attorney Jake Ehrlich, while Mary Louise Parker, Jeff Daniels and David Strathairn play the squares (the latter two appear in Good Night and Good Luck, a movie that shares the same beautiful black and white cinematography). If it feels a bit similar to Milk, that’s because it is: the filmmaker’s directed the documentary on which that film was based. Excited yet?