“The Disaster Artist,” dir. James Franco
When Greg Sestero, an aspiring film actor, meets the weird and mysterious Tommy Wiseau in an acting class, they form a unique friendship and travel to Hollywood to make their dreams come true.
Tommy Wiseau is the visionary behind arguably the greatest so-bad-it’s-good movie of all-time, “The Room,” released in 2003. On its surface, it’s horrible on every level. But it’s no ordinary bad movie. “The Room” has a unique charm that makes it something special. It’s gained a worldwide cult following over the years that has only grown. Sold out midnight screenings are held all across the globe where Wiseau himself appears for Q&A’s. But how did this legendary film come to be?
That’s the question that’s the basis for James Franco’s “The Disaster Artist,” the hilarious film adaptation of the book of the same name by Greg Sestero, who plays Mark in “The Room,” and Tom Bissell. From the opening scene, Tommy Wiseau is introduced as an aspiring actor, unafraid to go after his dream despite his talent. It’s clear right up front why Greg, played by Dave Franco, becomes fascinated by this strange individual.
The bond that forms between Tommy and Greg has a beautiful authenticity thanks to the chemistry between James and Dave Franco. One of the biggest worries going into “The Disaster Artist” was that it would be distracting seeing two brothers playing people who are not brothers in real life, but somehow they pulled it off. Admittedly, Dave Franco doesn’t feel like the best match for the personality of Greg Sestero, but his performance still sells the motivation that he felt pursuing his dream alongside Tommy.
Ever since the film premiered at SXSW, everyone has been singing the praises of James Franco’s performance as Tommy Wiseau. All that buzz is completely deserved as his performance is truly amazing. Not only does Franco nail the voice and mannerisms of Tommy, but he never crosses the line to the point of making fun of the man. He never loses sight of the humanity behind this individual while also not shying away from the baffling decisions he made. It’s the best performance of his career and absolutely worthy of all the awards buzz.
Franco also directed the film, apparently staying in character as Tommy Wiseau throughout the entire duration of the shoot. The film has this fantastic documentary aesthetic thanks to handheld cinematography. The feeling of being a fly on the wall seeing the fascinating behind-the-scenes making of “The Room” is captured beautifully here.
Obviously, one of the great joys of watching “The Disaster Artist” is seeing the recreation of the most iconic scenes from “The Room.” The casting of the actors, none of which I’ll spoil here because they’re best seen for the first time in the film itself, is so spot on. There was a clear attention to detail in every moment to make sure that whatever scenes were recreated matched the original scene as best as possible. The end result makes for some moments that are truly funny as hell.
In the end, “The Disaster Artist” isn’t just the funniest film of the year, but one of the year’s most unexpectedly moving pictures. At it’s core, this is a film about working hard to achieve your dream. At one point, one of the characters says, “The worst day on a film set is better than the best day anywhere else.” On that note, this is a heartfelt reminder that art can leave a large impact on people, whether they be an aspiring creative or an audience member being sucked into a different world for a couple of hours. It is a celebration of the unique, odd vision of Tommy Wiseau. As a fan of “The Room,” it’s a terrific peak into the making of such a fun disaster.
Have you seen “The Disaster Artist?” Are you a fan of “The Room?” Do you think James Franco is going to be nominated for an Oscar for this film? Comment down below and let me know what you think.
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