The Disaster Artist Review (Toronto International Film Festival)

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Tommy Wiseau’s mystery has captivated the underbelly of pop culture for more than a decade, ever since he unleashed The Room on audiences in 2003. A twisted, undecipherable romantic drama, hailed as the “best worst movie” of all time, it has left a unique footprint in cinema, one that brings folks together, gets them laughing and begging for answers to questions like: Who is Tommy Wiseau, and how did his cult classic find the light of day?

Wiseau’s friend and The Room co-star, Greg Sestero (played by Dave Franco, who successfully portrays Sestero as he lives out a real nightmare), went on to pen The Disaster Artist, a book that chronicles The Room’s troubled production — going in-depth on how this sordid picture was born out of two struggling actors trying to find their way in Hollywood. Enter James Franco, he’s picked up Sestero’s book and effectively brought Wiseau out of the midnight circuit and blessed us with his presence in the mainstream. Soon, you won’t have to eavesdrop on a group of young hipsters to find out about the legend of Tommy Wiseau, no, it’ll be right outside your door, his maniacal laugh and Dracula-esqe visage will saturate the minds of the masses as you’ll witness even more scruffy 20-something people screaming “YOU’RE TEARING ME APART, LISA!”

The Disaster Artist doesn’t answer important questions surrounding Wiseau, like his age, his place of birth, where he acquired the money to fund The Room’s six million dollar budget.

Franco’s adaptation of the same name is a triumph, pinning down the cultural phenomenon in the source material and nailing it down into a comedy that’s incredibly funny and heartfelt. It feels exclusive in a way that’s only possible when the stars align for us to experience a mystery turned cult obsession in reality, celebrated on the silver screen with the perfect talent at the helm. The Franco brothers lose themselves in their respective roles, especially James as the impossibly weird, too strange for this world Wiseau. He has said this is the role for him and it’s true, recreating the aura of madness and demented complexity so magnified by an already historical enigma.There is also a handful of notable cameos and a great turn from Seth Rogen that serve to bolster the hilarity.

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The Disaster Artist doesn’t answer important questions surrounding Wiseau, like his age, his place of birth, where he acquired the money to fund The Room’s six million dollar budget. But it doesn’t have to; the looking-glass tone is what sets it apart from certain expectations. There’s no cruelty or facetiousness found here, only love and admiration for a piece of shadowy history. Hollywood’s rejected black sheep that found an unlikely spot in our hearts. Something to get people talking with their buddies, a much needed, genuinely funny picture to celebrate all the profanities, riddles and determination buried deep within The Room’s legacy.

The Disaster Artist isn’t just a movie about a movie, it’s an event that is unique to the present and the magic could very well be fleeting. Don’t miss it.

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