The Disaster Artist
Directed by James Franco
An aspiring actor in Hollywood meets an enigmatic stranger by the name of Tommy Wiseau, the meeting leads the actor down a path nobody could have predicted; creating the worst movie ever made.
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★★★★½ review by Tom Grey on Letterboxd
Going into this I was very skeptical. It's been pushed back several times, and James Franco really hasn't stood out as a great or even that good of a director. Plus I skipped the secret screening of "T2: Trainspotting" for this, so if this sucked I probably would've hated it even more. But I am beyond happy to say this is one of my absolute favorite James Franco films. If you love the movie "The Room" it'll only add to how much you love this movie, but if you've never seen that movie or haven't even heard of it, you're still sure to enjoy this. It's a hilarious, insanely entertaining ride that surprisingly has an enormous amount of heart at it's core. People are saying it, so I might as well too, this is certainly the "Ed Wood" of this generation. I loved this film and I can't wait to see it when it finally hits theaters. Without a doubt in the top 5 James Franco performances as well. #SXSW
★★★★½ review by CT_Sexybeast on Letterboxd
Alright, it's been a few months since I got to be one of the lucky few to witness this insanity at a pre-screening, and now that it has premiered at SXSW, I feel as though I owe it a proper review.
I think the best aspect of James Franco's The Disaster Artist is that you don't need prior knowledge about "The Room" itself to enjoy the film. My primary concern going into the screening was that this film would never find mainstream success because only huge Tommy Wiseau fans like myself would be able to enjoy it. But luckily director & star James Franco found a way to make this ridiculous story about the making of the best worst movie of all-time into something far more than just a collection of inside jokes for fanboys. The Disaster Artist has heart, comedy, and a truly fascinating story. It may not be a revolutionary piece of cinema, but it tells the story of Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestro in the best way possible.
At its heart, The Disaster Artist is a tale about the relationship between Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestro. We see the story through Greg's eyes, and follow his journey into the madness that is his relationship with Wiseau. By focusing on the dynamic between these two characters, you feel a strong connection to what drives each of them and become enthralled by every twist and turn in their relationship. Writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber did an excellent job making their dynamic the heart of the film, which makes it stand out from other biopics that focus more on events rather characters. They balance the tone around their relationship as well, which gives moments of heavy comedy and effective drama in equal doses, and makes the conclusion of the story a surprisingly moving experience.
Another reason why the relationship between Wiseau and Sestro worked so well is because of the actors. James Franco is truly something special as Tommy Wiseau. I had no idea what to expect from Franco going into this, but after the first ten minutes or so I got over the initial shock and became fully invested in his performance. As someone who's met Tommy Wiseau, Franco captured all his mannerisms perfectly. It was actually somewhat remarkable to watch. I honestly believe this may be Franco's greatest performance, and I hope he'll be at least considered for awards come the end of the year.
Another surprise is Dave Franco as Greg Sestro. I never took the younger Franco too seriously, and couldn't imagine him making a convincing leading man. But with The Disaster Artist, Dave proved his dramatic chops and really carried this film. He had wonderful chemistry with his brother James, but it's the more subtle moments of his performance that stand out most. In fact, I think the best scene in the whole film is a simple close-up on his face. No dialogue is said, but his expression is incredible and continues to stick with me months after watching the film.
Aside from the two leads, the rest of the cast is superb as well. Hannibal Buress has a great bit role, Seth Rogen does an excellent job in the supporting cast, Josh Hutcherson is hilarious, and Zach Efron basically steals the show. Oh, and Judd Apatow absolutely shines in one of the most effective cameos I've seen in years. Some actors go underused (Alison Brie is especially), but for the most part they're used perfectly.
As a huge fan of "The Room", I can say with confidence that The Disaster Artist does Wiseau's legacy justice. This film has made me appreciate "The Room" so much more, and made my friends who'd never seen it curious about Tommy Wiseau and eager to learn more.
The film itself may not be groundbreaking spectacle of social commentary, but it doesn't need to be. Franco made this film as a comedic but emotional look into a fascinating person and a fascinating event, and it accomplishes that goal wholeheartedly. The Disaster Artist is broad entertainment with a strong underlying layer of substance that keeps it afloat. If you haven't seen "The Room" you'll enjoy it, but if you're fan then this is an absolute must-see.
★★★½ review by Chris M. on Letterboxd
James Franco completely embodies Tommy Wiseau. Should be in the running for a Golden Globe this year. It's vv good, see it when it's out.
Saw it at SXSW.
Possible IG review coming soon.
★★★★ review by Joel Liss on Letterboxd
Much, much better than expected.
Franco's performance is a shocking highlight. Its incredibly funny while remaining incredibly real and authentic.
All around a very very funny movie, though a crowd of 1000 The Room fans probably helped.
If anyone can dig up a recording of the Q&A you can here me asking a question about the scene recreations.
★★★★★ review by ana on Letterboxd
this isnt even out yet but i already know im gonna love it
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