You never know with James Franco.
You might get the sensitive, believable Franco of 127 Hours. You might get the serious, introspective Franco of Milk. You might get the self-serious Franco of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, or the comically self-serious Franco of Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? Then there's the gleefully cheap-laugh Franco of, say, Pineapple Express. But there may never have been a project so obviously suited to the actor-poet-writer-philosopher-pretty-plausible-as-a-weed-dealer as The Disaster Artist, which is about the making of the terrible 2003 film The Room.
Franco plays The Room's writer-director-star Tommy Wiseau, and his mimicry of Wiseau's voice and eyelid action is eerie. But is this comedy — co-starring Franco's brother Dave as Wiseau's collaborator Greg Sestero — saying something about art, or is it just a goof upon a goof, a midnight movie squared?
Marissa Lorusso of NPR Music joins the panel this week to consider The Disaster Artist — and, to an extent, The Room — as the possibility comes into clearer focus that this will be the closest Tommy Wiseau will ever get to the Oscar he perhaps dreamed of.
We also take a look at what's making us happy this week. Stephen is happy about a film he was hesitant to watch. Glen is happy about NPR's great big book project for the end of the year. Marissa is happy about a variety of newsletters, including one that might broaden your nose's horizons. And I am happy about a Twitter feed that might left your spirits.
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