Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (8)
| Top Critics (3)
| Fresh (4)
| Rotten (4)
All we do is wait through uneventful hours with the protagonist until their foreordained death comes as a kind of finale and release.
Despite its modest proportions and chilling finale, Sal is foremost an affectionate tribute, conjuring ample warmth out of relatively little.
As always, Franco demonstrates a talent for and interest in composition, performance, and the naked human moment.
In other words, "Sal" is not all that different from most other films from directors fresh out of film school - ambitious, accomplished and with room to improve.
[S]cene after scene plays out as if Franco has watched one too many Gus Van Sant movies and figured that's how you make an Important Movie.
James Franco's lovingly crafted, if minimalistic, cinematic ode to Sal Mineo - the actor most famous for his Oscar-nominated role opposite James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause" - succeeds due in large part to Val Lauren's thoughtful portrayal.
Franco's visual sense and skill with atmosphere are strongly evident here, but, unfortunately, not enough happens in the movie.
It functions under the delusion that subtext will magically appear if you linger on a character long enough, and the significance of most of its scenes is nothing if not inscrutable.
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