Oh, hai readers!
For over a decade, crowds have been flocking to Carlton’s, Cinema Nova for their monthly late-night screenings of Tommy Wiseau’s epic ‘disasterpiece’, The Room (2003) – the independently financed movie that’s been dubbed ‘The Greatest Bad Film Ever Made’. At these screenings, patrons are encouraged to dress-up, shout obscurities and even throw plastic spoons at the screen – a unique experience exclusive to Nova’s late-night programming.
Now, with the release of The Disaster Artist, the stranger-than-fiction biopic that documents the central friendship behind The Room, along with its many, many bizarre behind-the-camera dramas, there’s never been a better time to venture back to Melbourne’s inner north to experience the film at its local home: the cosy Cinema Nova.
Based on the tell-all book titled The Disaster Artist, written by star Greg Sestero – who’s made the most of his unexpected fame – and journalist Tom Bissell, the movie follows Greg (Dave Franco), a young aspiring actor who befriends a strange, uber-confident student in his San Francisco acting class named Tommy Wiseau (James Franco). After forming an unusual bond, the pair moves to Los Angeles to chase their Hollywood ambitions. But, after a plethora of challenges and rejections, Tommy and Greg decide to make their own movie to show the world that they have what it takes to make it in the City of Stars.
Directed by producer and star James Franco, The Disaster Artist is overflowing with affection and care for its source; the filmmakers clearly respecting the material whilst telling an inspiring and engaging story about friendship and the pursuit of dreams. Even the behind-the-scenes team including production designer, Chris L. Spellman, This Is the End (2013), and cinematographer, Brandon Trost, Neighbors (2014), have gone above and beyond in re-creating the look and feel of Wiseau’s cult classic. All one needs to do is stick around for the closing credits to see just how close these guys were able to get – the side-by-side comparisons are near flawless.
Performance-wise, James Franco, 127 Hours (2010), knocks it out of the park with his phenomenal rendering of the enigma that is Tommy Wiseau, the 39-year-old Franco even directing the flick in his Tommy persona (he claims it was easier that way). There are also a ton of amusing cameos, including an over-the-top Zac Efron, 17 Again (2009), who plays The Room’s forcible drug dealer, Chris-R, along with the delectable Alison Brie, How to Be Single (2016), who portrays Sestero’s girlfriend, Amber. Even Ari Graynor, The Sitter (2011), is great as Juliette – ya know, the girl who plays Lisa in The Room – despite looking nothing like the real-life actress.
Although The Room will forever be remembered as a monumental failure, The Disaster Artist is a respectful, complicated and funny account of the truth behind the legend. Do naaaht miss it! And don’t forget to pick up your copy of a James Franco/Tommy Wiseau actor headshot from Nova’s foyer on the way out.
See The Disaster Artist for yourself at Cinema Nova
If you haven’t already and need to discover the true cinematic experience of The Room at Cinema Nova’s exclusive monthly showings, be sure to head to the next one here
Feature Image Credit: The Disaster Artist: Melbourne Premiere at Cinema Nova