Oscar voters invariably love heaping adulation on movies about the movies, but rather than blow smoke up the asses of Tinseltown luminaries, James Franco’s The Disaster Artist tracks the unlikely rise of oddball auteur Tommy Wiseau, whose baffling 2003 melodrama The Room gained notoriety as “the Citizen Kane of bad movies”. There are inevitably laughs here at the expense of Wiseau, who dresses like a vampire and claims to hail from New Orleans despite a thick eastern European accent. But Franco pulls off a neat trick in the role, hamming it up whilst rendering his subject relatable. It’s a far cry from the self-serious showboating awarding bodies tend to recognise, but the performance nevertheless netted Franco a Golden Globe and a host of other accolades. A subsequent Oscar nod seemed inevitable, but it appears that very recent accusations of sexual misconduct scuppered his prospects at the last minute. The film did, however, pick up a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.
The Disaster Artist I Directed by James Franco (USA 2017), with James Franco, Dave Franco. Starts Feb 1.
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