Sunday 10 December 2017

Movie Review - The Disaster Artist

Helmed by wannabe filmmaking genius Tommy Wiseau, 2003's The Room has now found itself widely considered the greatest bad movie of all time. Its nonsensical storytelling, atrocious script, and terrible acting have garnered widespread recognition; recognition that Wiseau perhaps may have wanted, but not quite for such reasons. The film's infamy even lead to co-star Gregg Sestero penning the widely acclaimed memoir in 2013, known as The Disaster Artist. He reminisced on his experience on the project, which now finds itself on the big screen thanks to director/star James Franco.

The Disaster Artist revisits the making of Wiseau's (James Franco) personal masterpiece whilst also exploring the relationship between him and Sestero (Dave Franco) during its development and production. From the moment they met to the premiere of the end product itself, the film takes us into one of the strangest filmmaking journeys of all time, with a solid combination of emotional warmth and likeable humour. Fans of The Room will find themselves particularly impressed by the care and attention used to recreate some of its most iconic moments.

Perhaps the most notable pro at first glance is the performance of both the leading brothers; while James Franco as Wiseau may annoy some people, this trait is actually because of how accurate his performance ends up being. Wiseau is a mysterious and very odd man, and Franco captures this perfectly with a performance that offers plenty of laughs and charm. Wiseau's inept social and painfully bad directing skills are well captured, as are his bizarre interactions with many of the supporting characters; it makes for some hilariously tense moments without a doubt. Dave Franco's performance as Gregg of course mustn't go unnoticed either; there's depth to his character for sure, and the bond between him and Wiseau as their friendship is damaged during the film's troubled production makes for some very heartfelt moments. We're certainly treated to much more than a comedic tribute to a superbly bad piece of cinema.

While Seth Rogen's role as script supervisor Sandy Schklair may not be as memorable, he still superbly depicts the immense frustration these people obviously must've felt due to Wiseau's clueless direction. A lineup of other fine supporting actors also aid in recreating many of The Room's most infamous scenes, and their interactions with Wiseau as he continues to screw up his own ambitions are an unexpected joy to watch. It's this attention to detail that is beyond impressive, particularly when it comes to the overall accuracy of the set design, camera angles, the works; it's all handled perfectly to tribute an atrocious masterpiece. Perhaps Franco's portrayal of some scenes is a little rusty, and the humour certainly gets repetitive now and then, but overall The Disaster Artist finds itself as a film that offers audiences plenty to admire: laughs, tears, surprises, and lots of interesting trivia to boot. Even if you're unfamiliar with the premise, it's certainly worth your time.