James Franco did not receive an Oscar nomination, despite being nominated for SAG and winning a Golden Globe, for portraying Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist.
I was concerned more than a strange man/boy creature should be who bought drugs from the wrong oddly named drug dealer. As Tommy Wiseau would be an easy enough character to get wrong because on and off screen he is so ridiculous it would be easy enough to only be the caricature of the man. I must admit though before I started throwing my TV out of a window only for it to fall in a way that is against the laws of gravity, I saw the extended trailer and eventually the film which changed my tone faster then when you don't want pizza but pizza was already ordered for you. Although I won't quite say I said oh hey James Franco I didn't know it was you, upon the opening of the film Franco comes close to becoming the realization of the man who will incorrectly act like a chicken right to your face. We see this as Tommy Wiseau represents the idea of the fearless actor to Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) as they meet in an acting class. Franco of course cannot tell you the secrets of Tommy Wiseau, they're confidential after all. He instead must be the enigma of the man that is quite unlike your typical hu-man being. A man who will randomly say "How's your sex life" as a normal trait of human behavior, this is course a representation of Tommy more so than the legendary character of Johnny the banker from The Room, although these things can blur a bit.
Franco seems to have it all down, I mean the strange saunter, the mysterious glares, the unknowable accent...what's going here? Well Franco seems to have captured Wiseau past the surface level of his strange sunglasses, and even stranger wardrobe. There is that exact way of speaking even past the NOOOOWEORLLEANS accent, but the exact way his voice has these variations depending on the mood of the man. In this capturing of the man that is enough to make it interesting, this is a comedic performance in the sense that it is naturally funny the same way Tommy Wiseau is naturally funny in his strange way of navigating the world. The man who will go about saying "I'm tired, I'm wasted...I love you Baby" that isn't what one typically states in any circumstance, however the real Wiseau isn't far from that strange I'll say atypical juxtaposition of words and emotions. Now as much as the real Wiseau may wish for me to keep my comments in my pocket his very being is quite hilarious just as Franco is here, since he captures that same strange wavelength that the rest of us could only hope to achieve. For example I'm sure Wiseau understands the logic of the flower shop scene in his own mind, however we ponder every word, its very existence, except for perhaps the inclusion of doggie one of the better actors in that film. Franco simply finds the state of being that is Wiseau which is highly entertaining to watch, better than dropping off the earth anyways, that's a promise.
Of course before I go off to eat the delicious delicacy of haaaa, I must ponder if this performance is above a standard impression. Well I would say it is to the extent that it is one of the best impressions one probably has seen of the frequently impersonated Tommy Wiseau, although what takes this further beyond just an entertaining impression is any potential humanization of the very alien Tommy. This is of course as odd as introducing then dropping a cancer subplot through a single line, because Tommy's reactions are not so simple. I mean few people chuckle at hearing someone get beat up so bad they ended up on a hospital on Guerrero street, no one goes cheep cheep to imitate a chicken, well except Tommy Wiseau. Franco's work then must attempt to bring out some strange inner truth of Tommy. In this sense Franco's portrayal of the other sides of Tommy are within his relationship with Greg played by his brother. This friendship is even atypical as the encouragements of Tommy towards Greg are strange in themselves demanding silence on questions about his past while also requiring the return of his own support. There is some strange vulnerability that Franco captures in more subtle moments, within this purposefully extroverted work. A sense of some desire for kinship though very much internalized towards these single moments of earnest friendship mixed in mostly within Wiseau oddity. Franco finds those moments but also uses them to essentially work towards the creation of the more problematic Tommy, that is only lightly touched upon here.
It is there which Franco fashions, for the feel good take to the material, to show it as a jealousy in Tommy towards losing his friend than the more inherent nature of the man who actually made the original film. It does work as such though in this is a return to The Room form, as we see Tommy/Johnny echo themselves as they become fed up with their mutual worlds. The overcoming of this, which is less dramatic for Tommy than it is for Johnny, is merely found in Tommy achieving equilibrium after Greg returns the encouragement to Tommy by showing that his passion project of the Room is beloved even if it is not in the way he intended. This again is Franco still as Tommy and his reactions seem right if perhaps limited in that we do never fully understand who he is past a certain point, to the point that it is obvious Franco never learned the whole truth either. This is an enjoyable representative of Wiseau, and enough of a realization beyond simply an impression to at least feel we've seen something of Wiseau in this film beyond simply being entertained by his unique antics. If James Franco were to ask "What do you want from me, huh? HUH?" about this performance, I'd say what he gave was more than enough. Now one might have a point of view that is so different than mine in regards to this performance. That is fine, as long as we can still love each other, you don't even have to say it, but one should just always remember that if a lot of people love each other, the world would be a better place to live.