Oh, hi Nashville!
Last week, James Franco’s The Disaster Artist opened in New York and Los Angeles, where it made a large chunk of cash in its limited release. This weekend, The Disaster Artist opens in Nashville at The Belcourt Theatre (you can purchase your tickets here).
Luckily, members of the 615 Film staff had the chance to see the much-hyped A24 release at a press screening here in Nashville right before Thanksgiving; staff contributor Scotty Wright was lucky enough to check it out at the Toronto International Film Festival back in September.
All of us here at 615 Film wanted to review the movie, but we came to the agreement for a group review so our readers could get each of our takes on one of the fall’s most anticipated releases.
Is The Disaster Artist a dark horse awards contender? Is The Disaster Artist overhyped? Do you need to see The Room (the film on which The Disaster Artist is based) before you see The Disaster Artist?
Below, you’ll find mini reviews from each of us here at 615 Film, where we weigh in with our ratings of The Disaster Artist using our four-star system.
Scotty’s review: James Franco’s adaptation of Greg Sistero’s account of the hilarious and bizarre making of The Room is by all accounts a great film. Both the Francos (Dave and James as Greg and Tommy Wiseau, respectively) find the heart and brotherly bound that is what makes The Room and the behind-the-scenes story so unique and fascinating. It would have been ridiculous to ever consider that somebody playing Tommy Wiseau in a movie about the worst film ever made could be included in legitimate awards conversations…..yet here we are in 2017 and The Disaster Artist is one of my favorites of the year. ★★★★
Kevin’s review: Having become a regular for midnight showings of The Room on a yearly basis, it was a given that the film adaptation of Greg Sestero’s best-selling book, The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room would catch my attention. That being said, I went into The Disaster Artist with the feeling that it would just be a collection of jokes referencing the unique terribleness of the 2003 disaster-turned-cult phenomenon and not much else. While there are plenty of those to go around, The Disaster Artist is a truly great film that is hilarious and ultimately touching all at once, in part thanks to James Franco’s career-best performance as Tommy Wiseau. His outbursts and eccentricities are hilarious for their absurdity and outlandishness, while his mannerisms are timed so effectively that it’s difficult not to laugh. It’s also is difficult not to root for Tommy and his best friend, Greg Sestero, as the film grounds itself in a very realistic portrayal of Hollywood from the perspective of starving artists in Los Angeles, and all of their lows and struggles. But where The Disaster Artist thrives the most is through the endearing friendship at the core of the story: Greg is a Hollywood misfit looking for his big break while Tommy is portrayed as an unusual, mysterious man on a different plane of reality; but it’s their aspirations that form their bond and keep them going as they understand each other, encourage each other, and realize their dreams. For those reasons, as well as the passionate recreation of every set, costume and shot composition of The Room that are on display, The Disaster Artist is a film that everyone can enjoy, and one of the year’s best. ★★★★
Sean’s review: In what’s been a banner year for A24 (A Ghost Story, The Florida Project, Lady Bird), The Disaster Artist might be the best of them all. Poignant and all so fascinating, this hilarious biopic about one of the worst movies ever made is a riot from start to finish. In fact, it might be the funniest movie I’ve seen in the past couple of years. Do you have to see The Room to enjoy The Disaster Artist? No, you don’t. But it wouldn’t hurt to see the cult classic and see what all the talk is about. And while the focus this awards season for Best Actor has been all on Gary Oldman for The Darkest Hour, don’t count out James Franco as Tommy Wiseau from The Disaster Artist. Franco’s take on one of the strangest men to ever make it to Hollywood is without a doubt the year’s most entertaining performance. ★★★★
Michael’s review: The Disaster Artist was a huge risk for producers James Franco and Seth Rogan, but somehow they managed to make one of the best films of 2017 based on one of the worst films of all time. James Franco’s transformative performance as the unique Tommy Wiseau is one that will be talked about for years. The story of The Room and how it was made is so fascinating, and the cult following behind it will LOVE The Disaster Artist. The beauty of it is that even if you haven’t seen The Room, odds are you will still love The Disaster Artist. But anyway, how’s your sex life? ★★★★
Grant’s review: The Disaster Artist was honestly all I hoped it could be. I love the culture around The Room and I LOOOOVED the book. I dove deep down the rabbit hole on information about Tommy Wiseau and his movie. James Franco nails it with his portrayal of Wiseau and the accounts of production on that movie. Not only is it downright hilarious, it is a very relatable and inspirational story. For anyone who wants to know more about the acclaimed movie, The Disaster Artist is a good jumping off point. Plus the fact that it is certified fresh and in talks to be a serious awards contender is outright incredible. ★★★★