The Disaster Artist, film review: ‘James Franco gives an inspired performance’

PUBLISHED: 12:44 06 December 2017

The Disaster Artist. Picture: Justina Mintz/ Warner Bros Entertainment Inc

The Disaster Artist. Picture: Justina Mintz/ Warner Bros Entertainment Inc

© 2015 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

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.

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.

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

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Stories

Yesterday, 17:00

Sarries in Pool Two along with Tigers, Sale Sharks and Worcester Warriors

Yesterday, 17:37

Camden and Islington’s mental health trust is consulting on plans to pool its inpatient beds at a new site at the Whittington Hospital.

Yesterday, 15:07

People in Hampstead Garden Suburb are up in arms about the proposed expansion of the historic Henrietta Barnett School – six years after the last one.

Yesterday, 14:05

A well-known male fashion model was knifed to death by a less successful rival in a row over a girl, a court has heard.

Yesterday, 14:00

Toby Alderweireld played his part to deny five of his Spurs team-mates a chance of finishing third in Russia

Yesterday, 11:10

Former Finchley amateur to put WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO world heavyweight titles on the line against Russian rival

Yesterday, 10:00

The Spurs goalkeeper made a mistake against Croatia, but it didn’t stop him lifting the trophy at full time

Yesterday, 09:00

France marked their 20th anniversary since winning the World Cup by being crowned once again after sealing a 4-2 victory against Croatia.

Most read Hampstead & Highgate etcetera

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now