Golden Rule: “The Disaster Artist” Knocked Out by Disaster

Leading up to the 90th Academy Awards on March 4th, we’re diving into as many of the nominated films as possible to look at what their chances are for taking home the Oscar. You can check out our list of where to watch each film here, and see the full list of nominees here. Today we’re looking at The Disaster Artist, which is nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Before the Golden Globes I would have said that The Disaster Artist was a frontrunner for multiple categories at the Oscars. James Franco would have been a leader among Actors and/or Directors. The film would have had a lot of potential for winning Best Picture for telling the story of the “best worst movie ever made,” and of the people who followed their dreams to create the film The Room and believed in the power of Hollywood to do so.

Honestly, this movie is essentially this year’s entry for Hollywood patting itself on the back. It probably would have been nominated for cinematography, simply for how well they recreated the film The Room. It could have been a frontrunner for Best Adapted Screenplay.

But then the Golden Globes happened. And immediately afterwards, sexual misconduct allegations against James Franco came to light.

This film is Franco’s baby. He pulled a Tommy Wiseau and produced, directed and starred in it. Franco disappeared into his role. The film is a fantastic piece of cinema. But it’s Franco’s baby.

Hollywood and its actors and actresses are fighting sexual misconduct from every angle and the film could have been nominated because the Academy members had already submitted their votes earlier in the nomination process or they thought he wouldn’t be connected to the category. It’s hard to tell where this nomination lands in those two groups. Especially considering this category is picked by screenwriters, many of whom had already placed their nominations for the Writer’s Guild Awards early in the Oscar nomination stage. These awards tend to directly mirror the Oscars.

The script for The Disaster Artist is fantastic and deserves the nomination. But with Franco’s ties to the movie, I don’t know there’s any chance that it will take home the Oscar.

At some point, there has to be a discussion about how to separate the art from the artist. How to celebrate the work that a team of people did, without condemning everyone involved due to the act of one person involved. But that time is not right now. There is too much to be taken care of to approach this sensitive discussion. So The Disaster Artist will not take home this Oscar. I’d bet my life on it.

The Disaster Artist is currently in select theatres nationwide. Be sure to keep following Poor Man’s Spoiler for all of our Oscar coverage. The Oscars air on ABC on March 4th at 8pm ET.

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