James Franco’s performance in The Disaster Artist is flooring.
His portrayal of Tommy Wiseau – the director of the 2003 cult film The Room, widely considered to be “the worst movie ever made” – is superb.
He is accurate, empathetic and helps you understand a person who’s near impossible to understand in real life – Wiseau has never revealed his real age or birthplace. He denies he has an accent. He funded and directed The Room himself after no one in Hollywood would give him a break. And he’s never revealed where the money came from.
But Franco’s performance has not been enough. And now we ask: for the first time in Hollywood history, are people refusing to separate the art from the artist? Quite possibly.
The 39-year-old actor from Palo Alto, California, has been left out of the 2018 Academy Award nominations.
It comes after a string of sexual misconduct allegations publicly levelled against him since The Disaster Artist's success. Allegations that arrived in the wake of the #MeToo movement, which has seen hundreds of actresses, models, and media personalities publicly accuse Hollywood heavyweights of sexual misconduct.
In any other year, almost certainly, Franco's art would have been nominated.
Firstly because his performance is, whether you like it or not, stunning. And also because he has received recognition at every other awards ceremony leading up to this year's Oscars - a path typically trodden by trophy winners.
He received the award for Best Actor for his role in The Disaster Artist at the Golden Globe Awards on January 7.
A few days later, at the Critics' Choice Awards, he took home Best Actor in a Comedy Film.
And, on January 21 at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Franco was nominated in the category of Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role.
All these wins and nominations pointed to one thing: Franco being a contender for the one of the most coveted awards in Hollywood: an Oscar. And, any other year, they would have gotten him there.
But this year, Franco the artist is not welcome in Hollywood.