Slowly but surely, I’m starting to rack up the rewards points at the theater. It’s my favorite time of the year for movies. It’s Awards Season. When we last talked, I recently saw Three Billboards and Lady Bird, two movies that are major players this awards season and both should take home hardware. This past few days, I was able to see two more contenders, The Shape of Water and The Disaster Artist.
Let’s start with The Shape of Water.
The first word that comes to mind when describing this movie is unique. A cold war love story between a mute woman and an amphibian man is unique. What’s a stronger word than unique? Original? I’m blanking right now. Anyway, this is definitely a story that has never been told nor will it ever be told again. The other phrase that comes to mind is visually appealing. Guillermo del Toro’s vision was shot beautifully. Between his use of period music and silence to convey emotional responses, the audience started to get behind a love story between a woman and an amphibian. I also appreciated his use of light. The movie is almost entirely told at night. Darkness is at night. However, out of the darkness came a light and that light was love. I can appreciate that symbolism.
The acting was spectacular. Sally Hawkins deserves every Best Actress nomination and she is a shoe-in to be nominated for an Oscar. Her character says no words (besides a dream sequence) and yet her emotions trigger sympathy from the audience. Beautiful comes to mind again. Richard Jenkins is going to get supporting love and might get an Oscar nom, but I personally would give it to Michael Shannon. From the first second he was on screen, you hated him. You hated his guts and wanted to see him die right away. His presence had the audience hooked and for that, he deserves a nomination.
I will be honest. This movie is not for everyone. It’s a hard, hard sell. It’s visually appealing, but it’s a love story about a mute woman and an amphibian man. It might be hard to convince the average movie fan to go see this movie. I liked the movie, but I kept expecting more. The middle is where I had my problems. It just seemed to drag on a bit. I found myself struggling to pay attention because of the slowly paced movie. That being said, the Shape of Water should clean up in the technical categories. I don’t think it will win Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Director, but it will receive nominations in all categories.
Now, let’s change it up and talk about The Disaster Artist.
Line. What is line? HA HA HA. OH Hai Mark. The Disaster Artist is about the making of the best worst film of all-time, The Room. If you’re not familiar with the Room, take a few minutes on YouTube, Google, and Wikipedia to read up about it. The Room was made in 2003 by a guy named Tommy Wiseau and his best friend, Greg Sestero. There is no sugar coating it. The Room is very bad. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Tommy himself is a mystery. No one knows his age, where’s he from, or how he financed the film, which apparently cost $6 million. If you watch it alone, you might turn it off within a few minutes. However, it has developed a cult following. If you watch the film with a group, it’s going to be a blast. It’s so bad that it’s good. The movie has become an experience and as crazy as it sounds, it’s still playing in theaters across the country, 14 years later. It’s even getting a wide release in January. You don’t have to see The Room in order to enjoy the Disaster Artist, but it would help for context to know what you’re dealing with. Here are some clips from YouTube that are real scenes from the movie.
I’m here to say that the Disaster Artist is not the worst movie ever made, but it’s one of the best movies of 2017. I loved it from start to finish and it all starts with James Franco. Franco did a SPOT ON impersonation of Tommy. During the credits, they lined up scenes from the Disaster Artist and The Room side-by-side and it’s so accurate. From Tommy’s mannerisms to his accent, Franco nailed this part. James’s little brother, Dave, played Greg and their chemistry was very believable. The rest of the cast included Seth Rogen, Allison Brie, Ari Graynor, Josh Hutcherson, Paul Scheer, Zac Efron, and more celebrity cameos.
I remember watching this interview with Seth Rogen and he explained this movie perfectly. In a weird way, James Franco and Tommy Wiseau are very similar. They both can be misunderstood and under appreciated, but their passion and love of filmmaking is what keeps them going. I laughed from start to finish, but the Disaster Artist was oddly enough, inspiring. How many people get to follow their dreams and make a movie? How many of you can say that? Here are two guys that took a chance, made a movie from scratch, and it still plays in theaters 14 years later. That is pretty inspiring when you look at it that way.
The question you want to know is if this movie can win any awards. I’m going to say something that I never thought I would say before: James Franco should win a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy / Musical for The Disaster Artist. Franco was amazing and looking at the rest of the category, I just don’t see anyone beating him. Not to say anyone else doesn’t deserve this award, but Franco should win. Watch out for the Oscars. I think he’s no longer a dark horse to receive a nomination. I think he has a legitimate shot at cracking the Best Actor field.
That’s enough movie talk for now. Tune in next time, where I hopefully talk about Call Me By Your Name, The Darkest Hour, or The Post. Get to the theater!