In the upcoming “Maladies,” James Franco plays a former soap opera actor named James who gets lost within his own mind. And while we’re not suggesting Franco is mentally unstable, the other details do lend something of a meta quality to the latest Thing That Franco Did, which seems about right for the multi-hyphenate who likes to play with the perception of his persona.
And so, here’s the trailer, which at first, seems like it’s mostly “The James Franco Story: The Period Version” before it reveals itself to be something a little more. The film follows James, who lives with his mentally detached sister Patricia (Fallon Goodson) and his cross-dressing best friend Catherine (Catherine Keener) in the same house. The three struggle to co-exist on the fringes of society, while James becomes obsessed with finishing his life’s work—a grand memoir. So, yes, it’s meta but does it all hang together? Not really.
Reviewing the film out of Berlin last year, our own Jessica Kiang called it “wasteful,” “willfully opaque and enigmatic” to the point where she just wanted “to punch the film in the face.” But hey, make up your own mind when it opens on March 21st. Watch below.