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Zeroville (2019)

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3:01 | Trailer
A young actor arrives in Hollywood in 1969 during a transitional time in the Industry.

Director:

James Franco

Writers:

Steve Erickson (novel), Paul Felten | 1 more credit »
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2,021 ( 319)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Franco ... Vikar
Megan Fox ... Soledad Paladin
Seth Rogen ... Viking Man
Joey King ... Zazi
Jacki Weaver ... Dotty Langer
Dave Franco ... Montgomery Clift
Craig Robinson ... The Burglar
Vince Jolivette ... The Financier
Scott Reed ... The Producer
Gus Van Sant ... Film Archive Curator
Danny McBride ... Slim
Mike Starr ... Burly
Marc-Edouard Leon Marc-Edouard Leon ... Hippie Dude
Nick Buda Nick Buda ... Roosevelt Clerk
Jack Kehler ... Studio Art Director
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Storyline

A young actor arrives in Hollywood in 1969 during a transitional time in the Industry.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Welcome to Hollyweird See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, some sexual content/nudity and brief drug use | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 September 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Zeroville See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$69,396
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Soledad Paladin is likely inspired by Soledad Miranda who starred in the real Vampyros Lesbos (1971). See more »

Connections

References Apocalypse Now (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

 
hasn't aged well
27 September 2019 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. In this age of comic book movies and remakes, creative and artistic filmmakers are to be commended for sticking to their vision, no matter how cloudy. James Franco has put together a most unusual career as both actor and director. Here he takes on both in this adaptation of Steve Erickson's novel, with a screenplay by Paul Felten and Ian Olds. It's a movie seemingly made for movie nerds, but this particular movie nerd, while enjoying some of the homages, mostly found this to be too messy to recommend.

James Franco plays Vikar, a socially inept loner with a shaved head and permanent scowl. On that head is a tattoo of Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift from A PLACE IN THE SUN, the first movie the sheltered Vikar ever saw (11 months ago), and the one that initiated his obsession with movies. Vikar finagles his way into the industry - first as a set builder, and then under the tutelage of veteran film editor Dotty (Jacki Weaver) - reaching award winning status as a filmmaker. Along the way, the character of Vikar recalls Chauncey Gardner in BEING THERE. Is he a genius, or so simple-minded that his thoughts are accepted as brilliant?

It's 1969, and in an early scene, Vikar is interrogated by police regarding the murder of Sharon Tate. This is our first indication that fact and fiction will be blended here to make whatever points the film is trying to make. Vikar befriends Viking Man on the set of LOVE STORY, and we soon realize John Ford wannabe Viking Man (played by Seth Rogen) is a stand-in for John Milius ... a Hollywood legend worthy of his own film. The two new friends attend a beach house party where a group of up-and-coming filmmakers are brainstorming in the living room. Represented are Steven Spielberg, spit-balling a shark movie; George Lucas, yammering about robots; and a young Scorsese and Coppola.

Vikar is soon attracted to and dreaming of a beautiful actress named Soledad Paladin (Megan Fox). This shift of gears to romance from industry commentary does the film no favors. The film is at its best when Vikar is navigating the waters of a Hollywood in transition, including an old school power producer played by Will Ferrell. One of his scenes has him singing "Lum-de-lum-de-lai" in an odd show of power as he attempts to win the girl. Others making an appearance include Danny McBride, Dave Franco, and Craig Robinson - as a burglar who educates Vikar on the nuances of SUNSET BOULEVARD, Erich Von Stroheim, and MY DARLING CLEMENTINE. Joey King has a key role as Soledad's daughter Zazi, and she even sings on stage.

There are so many nods to Hollywood, that the film plays more like an experimental art project or trivia game than an actual story. The famed Roosevelt Hotel is featured, as is Frances Ford Coppola's (played by Horatio Sanz) out-of-control film set of APOCALYPSE NOW. A quite colorful description of John Wayne is offered up, and the silent classic THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST takes center stage. We even get Iggy Pop and The Stooges at CBGB, and the first song we hear is "It's My Life" by Eric Burdon and The Animals. A key note here is that this was filmed in 2014, and has been caught up in a quagmire of bankrupt distributors ever since. That could explain the questionable flow and editing, but we can assume the wild camera angles were all part of Franco's plan. It really plays like an experimental film and it covers a few years, though we are never really sure how many. The twist at the end is pretty easy to predict, and unfortunately, it leaves us wondering where an obsession with cinema is likely to lead us.


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