Rated NR 86 min. 2010

James Franco’s incandescent performance as the young Allen Ginsberg is only one of the pluses in Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s ecstatic re-enactment of the controversy surrounding Ginsberg’s eponymous monumental poem -- published in 1956 and put on trial for obscenity in San Francisco, of all places. Franco (Pineapple Express, Milk, Date Night) plays Ginsberg as the tenderest of tenderfeet, a holy wandering poet railing against the conformist Fifties. Best of all are artist Eric Drooker’s glorious animated sequences from the epic poem itself. On hand as Ginsberg’s various antagonists and allies are David Strathairn, Jeff Daniels, Jon Hamm, and Mary Louise Parker. Epstein and Friedman (The Times of Harvey Milk) obviously see Ginsberg as a gay rights icon, but there’s a world of meaning in his poetic protest and this film captures a great big gorgeous slice of it. Exec-produced by Gus Van Sant (90 min.).

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman

Writer: Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman

Producer: Elizabeth Redleaf and Christine K. Walker

Cast: James Franco, David Strathairn, Jon Hamm, Treat Williams, Bob Balaban, Alessandro Nivola, Mary-Louise Parker, Jeff Daniels and Aaron Tveit

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