Actor and director James Franco talked to the press about his new movie “The Adderall Diaries” which premiered at the Tribeca Film festival. The 36 year old stars in the movie which he co-produced and which is based on the 2009 true-crime memoir by author Stephen Elliott.
The movie tells the story of a Stephen Elliot – played by Franco — suffering from substance abuse and writer’s block who tries to write about a major murder case. The case is the 2007 trial of programmer Hans Reiser who was accused of murdering his wife.
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Things take a twist when Elliot’s father reemerges to claim that his son has made up his claims of childhood abuse.
“The movie is about a guy struggling with who he is, with his art and how he represents himself in his art with his past, ” Franco said.
He also told The Hollywood Reporter, “I was a little busy, so it took a year or two to get around to [Adderall Diaries], and then I started optioning a lot of books, and I had more projects that I wanted to do than I would ever be able to direct on my own.”
“So I started looking at my fellow classmates at NYU, people around me who I believed in. And I wanted to give them chances to direct, and one of the keys to that is pairing people up with projects they would be able to shine with.”
Directed by Pamela Romanowsky, who also wrote the screenplay, the movie co-stars Amber Heard, Christian Slater, Cynthia Nixon (Sex in the City), Wilmer Valderrama (That 70s Show) and Oscar nominated actor Ed Harris.
About the movie’s director Franco said, “I just thought Pamela was a great director, great sensibility, was great on set and that she would really make the most of this material, so I asked her if she would do it.”
Variety, unfortunately, did not like it. The magazine said:
“Sadly, Pamela Romanowsky’s jumbled, affected adaptation of Stephen Elliott’s autobiographical 2009 book is no more enticing a showcase for its producer-star’s wounded-intellectual side than Wim Wenders’s inert “Every Thing Will Be Fine.”
“As in that film, Franco’s cultivated impenetrability makes for a pain-ridden but peculiarly passionless experience, with multiple clashing subplots — on such insufficiently explored themes as parental abuse, uxoricide and masochism — obstructing an already opaque character study. A name-filled ensemble might attract boutique distributor attention to Romanowsky’s debut feature, though theatrical exposure will be minimal.”