9 March 2018.
THE DISASTER ARTIST ***1/2
James Franco proves here once again that he is an incredibly prolific, versatile artist. A born Californian, he started off in films at 19 and has till now 149 roles, 39 directorial, and some 25 writing credits under his belt – and he is only 39 years old!
He of the handsome face and leading man’s aura has moved from TV to drama, comedy, theater, blockbusters and now this brilliant biopic. He often takes his buddy Seth Rogen and family – brother Dave – along with him on these strange and wonderful adventures.
Strange, as in “The Interview”, his 2014 looney but very pertinent and controversial comedy on North Korea, and wonderful, as in this true tale of the man who made one of Hollywood’s worst-ever films.
‘The Disaster Artist’ is about the real-life Tommy Wiseau, a mysterious, eccentric character who tried to become an actor, and when no one gave him a chance (because he was so bad), decided to make his own film in 2003, with himself as the lead. Titled “The Room’, it was such an embarrassingly awful melodrama about love, betrayal and loss, that it actually ended up becoming a cult comedy.
Don’t ask, just go see this homage to misplaced talent that Franco has done with both wit and tenderness about this frustrated, lonely man trying to make it in Hollywood.
Franco himself portrays Wiseau with long, wild hair, a distorted nose and strange eyes, and the bizarre accent that he tried to pass off as New Orleans ‘southern’. He has cast his brother Dave as Wiseau’s best friend who goes along on this filmmaking fiasco, plus Rogen as a crew member. We follow the making-of of the movie, both hilarious and sad, and the opening night that proved a total surprise.
Seriously, if you love film, you cannot miss this homage to blind perseverance in Tinseltown. Stay for the final credits – the real Wiseau will be there.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.