James Dean

james deanFinally caught the 2001 TNT television movie James Dean that helped launch the career of the now overworked James Franco. I enjoy Franco. His self-awareness borders on annoying, but he does have talent and I like that he’s crafting a career both inside and outside of the box. James Dean (the film) manages to tell a fairly simple story of the actor who died too young. There’s nothing particularly earth-shattering about this film, but for what it is – a TV movie biopic, it certainly stands tall and Franco’s performance in particular deserves praise. I frowned at the reality that Sal Mineo would not be making an appearance in the film. I suppose my problem with both James Dean (the film) and the previously reviewed Freeheld stems primarily from my lack of enthusiasm towards the biopic genre. Seems too easy for filmmakers to take the simple way out and tell the perimeter of the story, rarely getting into any depth. Perhaps a “year in the life” would be a better way to deal with some of these epic life stories. In the end, James Dean the movie proves decent and a great introduction to Franco’s crazy career. 3 out of 5.


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