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Of all the high-minded films bucking for Best Picture this fall, The Disaster Artist is a beast in its own category. The zany biofilm from Hollywood renaissance man James Franco has been racking up festival accolades for months. This Friday, the film is set to appear for the first time in theaters, and if the initial buzz is any indication, moviegoers might be in for something special.

The Disaster Artist is an unabashedly weird retelling of the making of The Room, a movie that some consider the worst film ever made. Flanked by his typical assortment of costars, Franco takes center stage as The Room’s off-kilter mastermind Tommy Wiseau. Like the character he inhabited, Franco proved a creative tour de force (only talented); the actor directed, wrote, and starred in the film.

Initial festival buzz for the film has been mostly positive.

Of course, just because a film is getting festival buzz doesn’t mean that it’s likely to catch on with a broader audience. The Disaster Artist, however, is overcoming that hurdle by wrapping its high-minded ambitions inside a full-fledged comedy. The result has been extremely well-received.

This holiday season, The Disaster Artist might prove to be a perfect antidote to both the traditional Oscar bait films and the roaring blockbusters of winter. And that’s something extraordinary indeed.

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