Maybe you never thought he lost his hot. Maybe he was never hot to you to begin with. I had a thing for James Franco around the time of Spider-Man and Pineapple Express. But then James Franco became James Franco, The Artist. The Artist James Franco was intolerable. The Artist James Franco, however, got really tired (likely of himself, understandably) and went away for a while, to rest and to regroup and lower his profile. It was a good personal and professional decision. I didn’t notice that he was taking a break but now that he’s back, a lot of that eyerolling that used to happen when he was around all the time is gone. Which makes it easier to remember how talented he is. That’s never been in doubt. It just comes up earlier in the conversation now that you don’t have to get through the pretentious artist sh-t.

Here’s James with brother Dave at the San Sebastian Film Festival promoting The Disaster Artist. James directed and stars in the film. Sarah screened it at TIFF – her review is here – and she wrote that this is some of his finest work. Most critics agree with that assessment as The Disaster Artist was very well-received coming out of Toronto and there is now some speculation that James could have a shot at a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his performance. I wouldn’t be mad at that. Right now it’s still Gary Oldman’s to lose and everyone’s still waiting to see what Daniel Day-Lewis does in this Paul Thomas Anderson film that still doesn’t have a title and it’s due in December (which only means that when the trailer finally drops people will start freaking out and basically hand him the award) but the rest of the field feels wide open, three spots that could be anyone’s to take. And it’s not like James hasn’t been there before. He knows how to work that scene when he needs to. He knows how to look good when he needs to.

He looks good, right? This leather jacket is bringing me back to his James Dean days. Have you seen his Coach ads?