Young Allen Ginsberg recounts in his famously confessional, leave-nothing-out style the road trips, love affairs and search for personal liberation that led to the most timeless and electrifying work of his career, the poem "Howl." Meanwhile, in a San Francisco courtroom, "Howl" is on trial. Prosecutor Ralph McIntosh sets out to prove that the book should be banned, while defense attorney Jake Ehrlich argues fervently for freedom of speech and creative expression. The proceedings veer from the comically absurd to the fervently passionate. "Howl" mashes up genres and rides wild emotions as it reveals all the ways a fearless work of art impacted its creator and the world.
James Franco, David Strathairn, Jon Hamm, Treat Williams, Bob Balaban, Alessandro Nivola, Mary-Louise Parker, Jeff Daniels, Aaron Tveit
Rating: R (for strong sexual content including language and images, and for some drug material)