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Val Lauren "Magnetic" in James Franco's Sal Mineo Movie

Val Lauren "Magnetic" in James Franco's Sal Mineo Movie

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Val Lauren's performance is being called "magnetic" in Sal, the James Franco-directed take on the final hours of late gay actor Sal Mineo, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Franco's film premiered at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday, despite having completed filming earlier this summer following an accelerated nine-day shooting schedule. The Reporter expresses reservations about the film in general, particularly the "drab video look and occasional audio roughness," technical problems due, no doubt, to the film being rushed for the festival. The critic for the Reporter also takes issue with Franco's "flourishes - slow-motion, jittery hand-held camerawork and brief interludes of soundtrack cacophony."

But Lauren's performance is called "front-and-center impressive," "energetic," and "magnetic." The actor is "often so at ease with [Stacey] Miller's dialogue that one starts wondering if the material might have been better served by being turned into a one-man play."

Sal is adapted from Michael Gregg Michaud's acclaimed 2010 biography Sal Mineo. Michaud tells The Advocate exclusively that he spent hours working with Lauren pouring over hours of video footage of Mineo, as well as photos, letters, and audio interviews. "He worked very, very hard with me, Michaud recalls. "He worked very diligently. He really wanted to do right by Sal. He impressed me very favorably with his attention to detail and his dedication to making the most out of what he had to work with."

See behind the scenes photos from Salhere.
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Val Lauren "Magnetic" in James Franco's Sal Mineo Movie

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