Franco’s conflicting reviews

Lainey Posted by Lainey at October 21, 2010 08:21:29 October 21, 2010 08:21:29

James Franco has been almost universally applauded for both his performances as Allen Ginsberg in Howl and in 127 Hours playing Aron Ralston, who was trapped by a boulder in Utah and had to cut his own arm off. At this point in the season, Franco is considered a lock on a nomination for Best Actor.

And he’s choosing now, while he has momentum I guess, to promote his collection of short stories Palo Alto. The reviews for his writing however are nothing like the reviews for his acting. You have read his work, right? I mean, it’s not Nicole Richie and Hilary Duff but it’s amateur at best, embarrassing at worst. And if he was an undergrad working on his sh-t and a four year degree, that would be one thing. But this, this sh-t has now been published! On merit? Please don’t be so naive.

Not surprisingly then, a few critics have been pretty harsh.

“James Franco's debut story collection, “Palo Alto”, is a thin, hackneyed affair, not downright disastrous, but too amateurish and undercooked to carry any real force. Franco, of course, is a popular and well-regarded screen actor; the fact of his authorship is nominally irrelevant but nonetheless sits there, mute and surly, daring you to ignore it. There is no rule that says handsome young movie stars cannot also be gifted writers, but Franco's celebrity hangs like an unspoken rebuke over every word of "Palo Alto."
- Washington Post

Click here
to read more reviews, most of them not very favourable.

His response to this will likely be the standard celebrity one: they hate me because I’m famous, they sell me short because I’m a star.

Think of the writers who struggle for a lifetime, think of the hidden masterpieces that went unshared. Dear James Franco: Sometimes it really is nothing to do with bias. Sometimes it’s just because you suck.

Here’s Franco last night at the Barnes & Noble in Tribeca reading from his book.

My recommendation if you’re into short stories though is Sarah Selecky’s This Cake is for the Party, shortlisted for the 2010 Giller Prize. For sh-ts and giggles, compare and contrast the two. Then you’ll know. Click here for more on Sarah and her Cake.

Photos from

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