The Disaster Artist, film review: ‘James Franco gives an inspired performance’
- Credit: Archant
Oh hi Mark. This film is exceptionally entertaining and frequently hilarious
Tommy Wiseau (pronounced Why Zoh, rather than Whiz Oh, as I’d always assumed) is a fantastic movie star name: it starts out Italian American mobster and ends up French intellectual. And it suits him.
Just as Chaka Khan was every woman, he’s every movie star: Lon Chaney playing Dracula, Mickey Rourke Before and After; all the Expendables rolled into one; a Christopher Walken impersonation that doesn’t know he’s an impersonation; a miracle of reinvention who lies about his age and past; possibly a sexual predator and a follow-your-dreams idealist. He is a monster with a pure spirit.
Wiseau’s claim to immortality is writing, directing, producing, starring in and paying for The Room, a modern-day cross between Plan 9 From Outer Space and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. A cult bad movie, it regularly plays to riotous, packed, audience participation-filled screenings. Franco’s film tells the story of its making through the relationship with his co-star Greg Sestero (Franco, D) who comes to Hollywood with Wiseau (Franco, J).
James Franco is an actor who can be anything between woeful and wonderful, but this is his moment.
You may also want to watch:
He is helped by some marvellous prosthetics but this is an inspired performance, and his film is exceptionally entertaining and frequently hilarious: told by Judd Apatow that not in a million years will he make it in Hollywood, Wiseau asks, “but after that?”
The only little criticism is that while everybody keeps talking about his unidentifiable Eastern European accent, to me he often sounded a bit Charlie Chan.
- 1 Upper Street flat attack: Man, 58, stabbed in neck and back
- 2 Launch date for Gordon Ramsay's Upper Street burger chain
- 3 Finsbury Park sex assault: Man arrested on suspicion of rape
- 4 Taylor Cox 'wanted to play pro football until he was stabbed two years ago'
- 5 Survey: Where are the safest and most unsafe where you live?
- 6 Police investigate alleged Finsbury Park rape
- 7 Hackney and Islington see another rise in Covid-19 cases
- 8 Arsenal offers behind scenes tour of Emirates Stadium at Covid jab pop-up
- 9 Jeremy Corbyn echoes Iain Duncan Smith's call to review £1.2bn incinerator plans
- 10 Hundreds are heirs to an estate and may not even know
It’s a film about the forces that drive people to Hollywood, but what I took from it is the detrimental effect method acting has had on the culture. Wiseau’s terrible acting, illogical script and irrational directing choices are rooted in a desire for pure emotion. The theories of Stanislavsky and Adler were full of discipline and craft but gradually that has been whittled away. Now on reality TV nothing more is required of a reality performer than that they can throw a strop on cue.
On www.halfmanhalfcritic.com, a review of the re-release of Powell/ Pressburger’s 1946 classic A Matter of Life and Death Rating: 4/5 stars