Bring Me the Head of James Franco, That I May Prepare a Savory Goulash in the Narrow and Misshapen Pot of His Skull
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★★½ "In the plus column, Ian Belknap is a seriously good writer, and his profane, lecture-hall style breakdown of Franco's various pursuits — the hacky poetry and art installations, the showy graduate-level course load piled on top of lucrative acting gigs — is unsparing in its rage. "I don't give a (expletive) about James Franco, the individual human," Belknap says. "I'm talking about James Franco the Exasperating Art Rascal Public Figure he has sought so relentlessly to become." What follows is an epically cranky, supremely well-reasoned takedown of faux accomplishment. Belknap has honed this persona of the grumpy professor for years; it's an inviting surliness, if such a thing is possible, and I've always rather liked it. The angrier he is, the better. But the piece still has a ways to go. It needs an arc. It needs a larger point. Somewhere around the show's middle, yet more examples of Franco drivel start to feel redundant." -Nina Metz