The Disaster Artist

1hr 44mins | Rated M | Offensive language

The Disaster Artist: Not just a truly, profoundly funny film

Tommy Wiseau made The Room (widely regarded as one of the absolute worst movies ever made) in response to a Hollywood that had remained indifferent to his unique gifts. He was a fantasist, a delusionist and quite probably a pathological liar.
After months of rejection and doors slammed in his face, Wiseau, aided by his only friend Greg Sistero, wrote a script and began filming his intended dark romance on a Los Angeles soundstage he had rented.
A few years later, Sistero wrote and published a memoir – The Disaster Artist – of his time with Wiseau and of making the film that has been called "the Citizen Kane of bad movies" and "the true successor to Plan 9 From Outer Space".
To this day, no one knows where Wiseau found the US$6m he spent to make his film. Neither can anyone definitively say where Wiseau was born, how old he is, or even what his real name is. His accent is pretty much unclassifiable. Mute
James Franco directs and also takes the role of Wiseau. Franco is a wonderful actor when he puts the effort in and a lousy one when he looks like he's just turned up for the party. In The Disaster Artist, Franco is putting his back into his work in a way he hasn't since 127 Hours at least.
His portrayal of Wiseau is as funny and as close to convincing as you could hope for. There are moments when we sense the real Wiseau could be a far darker and more malevolent presence than Franco really allows himself to show. But that's maybe forgivable in a film that, unlike its inspiration, at least knows it's a comedy.
The Disaster Artist is a truly, profoundly funny film. But it is also something more. There's a poignancy here and an insight into the necessary self-delusion that it takes to even imagine becoming a successful actor or film-maker.
Without belief in ourselves, we are told we will never "make it". The Disaster Artist, like Ed Wood, is the story of a man who took that aphorism to its absurd conclusion. If you believe in it, it will happen. But what if everything you believe is wrong?

The Dominion Post