© Warner Bros. Entertainment GmbH

The Disaster Artist
U.S.A. 2017

Opening 1 Feb 2018

Directed by: James Franco
Writing credits: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber, Greg Sestero, Tom Bissell
Principal actors: James Franco, Dave Franco, Ari Graynor, Seth Rogen, Alison Brie

We meet Tommy Wiseru (James Franco) at acting class in July 1998. Another student, Greg Sestero (Dave Franco), asks his advice for improving his stage presence and they become best friends. This friendship is perhaps unexpected because Wiseru has long, wavy black hair, a foreign accent, and few social skills. Greg looks and acts like the all-American boy. His mother is concerned to learn that he will leave the family home in San Francisco and move in with Tommy in Los Angeles where both hope to become the new James Dean, whom they idolize. Over time, Greg’s most positive achievement is to move in with new girlfriend Amber (Allison Brie). Tommy, frustrated at this disloyalty, writes a film script based on their lives. He organizes a film team, plays the main role himself and convinces Greg to participate. The film, entitled The Room, came out in 2003 and stands as the worst film ever made – so bad that it is now a cult film, which still shows to enthusiastic audiences.

In this documentary The Disaster Artist, actor James Franco not only plays the lead role of  Tommy Wiseru, but he also directs and produces the film. His brother Dave Franco plays Greg Sestero. The film is based on the non-fiction book published 2013 by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell: The Disaster Artist: My Life inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made. The film opens a whole landscape of life in the film business. More explicitly we learn about Wiseru and Sester and the making of The Room. Curiosity about Wiseru’s real origin, age, or source of income to finance a six-million-dollar film will drive you to the internet for more information – information which, according to the film credits, does not exist. James Franco won the 2018 Golden Globe for best actor in a motion picture/musical or comedy. Definitely watch until the end of the credits for some surprising additional scenes. (Becky Tan)

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