THE DISASTER ARTIST directed by James Franco (USA, 2017)

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Forget about Grinding Nemo and Gary ‘Winston’ Oldman, the Oscar statuettes this year should have gone to ‘The Disaster Artist’ and James Franco respectively.

Of course, neither were even in contention due to the serious allegations of sexual impropriety hanging over Franco but that doesn’t change the fact that this is a brilliant and hilarious movie.

Franco’s full-blooded star turn as failed actor and wannabe movie star Tommy Wiseau is compelling from start to finish. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much in the cinema.

The story would have been funny if it was fiction but it’s even more so for knowing that The Room is a real movie which Wiseau financed, wrote, produced and directed. It was made for a staggering $6 million dollars of his own money and grossed a measly $1,900 when originally released in 2003.

Since its cult status as one of the worst movies ever made are now assured, these earnings will doubtless now increase significantly through special screenings and DVD sales.

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James Franco (left) and Tommy Wiseau

Previously, I knew nothing about Wiseau’s story but this is in no way surprising as, even now, he is a man of mystery. The latest theory is that he is not from New Orleans, as he has frequently claimed, but from Poland. It remains far from clear where all his money comes from. It’s unlikely that the bottomless pit of funds he poured into the movie came from legal activities.

Wiseau looks like a rock star desperately trying to ward off the ravages of age. The look is not dissimilar to Sean Penn’s wrecked appearance in ‘This Must Be The Place’ that was in turn modelled on The Cure’s Robert Smith. Yet while Penn’s performance was entertaining enough, it pales in comparison to the no holds barred physicality that Franco brings to the role.

Long story short, The Disaster Artist is an instant classic and unmissable.

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