29 October 2013 9:00 PM, PDT | Village Voice | See recent Village Voice news »

Like everything with James Franco's name on it, Sal might stand a little taller in the world if it had been dispatched to us pseudonymously, without expectation — that is, if a film this intimate and meandering might have been picked up for distribution at all without the stamp of its celebrity author. A stubbornly not-bad character study that's moldered on the shelf a few years, Sal purports to examine the final day of Rebel Without a Cause actor Sal Mineo, who was stabbed to death outside his West Hollywood apartment in 1976. As Sal, Val Lauren is a charismatic motormouth, jabbering happily to friends and family about his new play, a gay-themed comedy, opening soon. He swans about a featureless L.A. — the period setting and the micro »

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