Disaster artist theatrical poster

Oscar Watch: The Disaster Artist

Views 54 | Time to read: 3 minutes | Uploaded: 1 - 23 - 2018 | By: Emily Mosher

The Disaster Artist, directed and produced by James Franco, explores the true story of Tommy Wiseau. The Franco brothers, Dave and James, star in this wacky, and unique film. James recent winning of the Gotham Award, Golden Globe, and Critics’ Choice award for his role in the film is a testament to these talented brothers’ ability to portray the distinctive roles.

Tommy Wiseau is a mysterious man whose dream was first to be a successful actor, and then filmmaker. Taking place in San Francisco, 1998, Tommy (played by James Franco) is approached by a 19-year-old wannabe actor named Greg (Dave Franco), who asks to learn from his unique style. The two become friends, and adventurously move to Los Angeles together to pursue acting careers. Greg gets signed to an agency, and meets a woman, whom Tommy becomes jealous of. Not long after moving to LA, Greg’s casting calls and auditions become scarce, and Tommy grows tired of rejection.

Impulsively, Tommy decides to make a movie, and have himself and Greg star in it. Unbeknownst to everyone, he has a bank account “like a bottomless pit,” and is able to not only rent, but buy filming equipment, rent a studio, and hire a full crew. His movie, The Room, is an incredibly amateur script which tells the drama of three characters’ love triangle.

Being the inexperienced director as he is, Tommy shoots on 35mm film and an HD Digital at the same time, an extremely costly and wasteful decision. Though at first production goes smoothly, the film crew and cast become frustrated at Tommy’s disrespectful directing and amateur acting. In the midst of unfolding disaster (no pun intended), Greg is offered a chance to be on Malcolm in the Middle. However, Tommy gives him an ultimatum, refusing to allow him to do both Malcolm and The Room. Greg turns down the offer, and decides to finish out Tommy’s movie.

When filming is done, Tommy and Greg get into a fight when Greg questions who Tommy really is and where he comes from, as no one actually knows. Though the friendship is broken, when the movie is released eight months later, Greg decides to go to the premier and support his old friend. At the premier, Tommy shows up in a limousine, making quite the entrance. The movie is received badly at first, but as the movie progresses, the awestruck audience begins to laugh hysterically, turning it into an entertaining comedy. It’s so bad, it's good.

Appalled at the reaction, Tommy storms out of the theater. Greg goes after him, encourages him with the fact that his movie is well-received, even if by laughter and humor. Their relationship is reconciled, Tommy receives a standing ovation after the movie finishes, and he takes credit for the film.

Needless to say, this movie is not one seen everyday. The fact that The Room was released in real theaters, and that Tommy Wiseau is a real person, makes the film that much more fascinating. Much like the cult classic film which inspired it, The Disaster Artist is so bizarre that the audience cannot look away. It’s absolutely enthralling, and has so far earned $26.2 million in box office sales. Up for several more nominations, this movie is rare and different from anything else on the screens this year.


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