“THE DISASTER ARTIST”
Screenplay by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
Based On “The Disaster Artist” by Greg Sestero & Tom Bissell
Director: James Franco
Producers: James Franco, Vince Jolivette, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and James Weaver
Cinematography: Brandon Trost
Editor: Stacey Schroeder
Composer: Dave Porter
Release Date: December 8, 2017
Run-time: 103 minutes
FILM SYNOPSIS: After meeting in acting class in 1998, aspiring thespians Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero form a strong bond and move to Los Angeles to find fame and fortune. Continually rejected, the eccentric Tommy decides to write, direct, bankroll and star in his own movie, THE ROOM. Greg co-stars and watches with incredulity as the unusual film takes shape.
At one point, James Franco was a shoe-in for an Academy Award nomination for his role as Tommy Wiseau in “The Disaster Artist.” He elevated this small little comedy that he directed into a big Oscar contender, winning critics’ awards and even the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Leading Role – Comedy. But after that win, the backlash hit. Suddenly one accusation turned into two, and two turned into a few more. But it was so late in the Academy voting process, many believed it would be too late. And maybe it was. Maybe Franco wouldn’t have gotten nominated regardless. He was nominated for his role in “127 Hours,” so we knew the Academy was not above voting for the comedic actor. Instead, during the nomination announcement ceremony, we saw names like Daniel Kaluuya for his performance in “Get Out” and Denzel Washington for his role in “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” And those men definitely deserve the nomination too. But in a year that will be remembered, not only by our ludicrous president but also by the monster Harvey Weinstein and the “#MeToo” and “Time’s Up” movements, we’ll always have to wonder whether or not Franco would have gotten nominated without those hits against him.
That leaves “The Disaster Artist” with only one nomination instead of two, as the screenwriters, who adapted the real Greg Sestero’s book into this brilliant buddy movie slash dark comedy, grabbed a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. The adapted pool was definitely small this year, with “Logan” getting in on that fact that there really wasn’t much to choose from this year as far as adapted fare. Regardless, “The Disaster Artist” takes this little story about the real-life making of “The Room” and turns into something that a) everyone can relate to regardless of whether they’ve seen the actual film it’s based on and b) actually delivers captivating characters and an interesting story. Will it be able to best “Call Me By Your Name,” which has all the steam right now? Probably not, unfortunately. James Ivory is 89 years old and the Academy, more times than not, lean towards honoring those that have given their lives to the industry, produce consistently quality work, and have never actually pulled off the win. Ivory has been nominated three other times for his directing, for “A Room With A View,” “Howard’s End,” and “The Remains Of A Day.” Now is the time for the Academy to honor him and that will likely take precedence over honoring two men early in their careers for a film that had a dark cloud placed over it by those previously mentioned accusations. My guess is “The Disaster Artist” doesn’t win and “Call Me By Your Name” takes the Oscar.
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