James Dean

TNT, Aug. 5, 8 p.m. E.T.

Sick of movie-star biopics? Then there's little to change your mind in this one, written by Israel Horovitz and directed by Mark Rydell: celeb struggles to overcome childhood demons, audience struggles to find the remote. It's worth seeing, though, because James Franco uncannily channels the sulky, sexy, short-lived heartthrob. Franco recalls not just Dean's recklessness and (cue E! True Hollywood Story music) his icy relationship with his father (Michael Moriarty), but also the acting craft of a phenom who lived hard and left a good-looking memory.

--By James Poniewozik


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