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Sep 2nd
03:57 pm
see, they want to like you zac  
they want more for you like we do but they can't stand shitty movies!

/rant lol

First Showing review excerpts:
Nearly every aspect of At Any Price is spectacular, and Bahrani does not miss a single detail. From the very start, which opens with Super 8 cam footage of the family growing up, to the score, to the performances, to the intricate story itself, to the human relationships and characters. Even what the local community thinks of them, and the dynamic relationships between farmers and customers and corporations, it's all there, and all accurately portrayed. It's beautifully shot, tremendously acted (by Quaid and Efron) and honestly, very affecting. The emotional journey this film took me on was phenomenal, and I did not expect it at all.


Bahrani's cast in At Any Price, despite containing some of the first well-known actors he's used, like Zac Efron, Dennis Quaid, even Heather Graham and Clancy Brown, all melt into their characters, delivering powerful performances. Quaid gives one of the best performances he's ever given, and newcomer Maika Monroe (as Efron's young girlfriend) also stands out quite a bit, along with Efron. Believe it. Actors, even those who've given mediocre performances in the past, can be improved by a talented director who knows what he's doing, and inherently knows the story and all the characters in it top to bottom.

Variety excerpts:
The two leads are in fine form here: Quaid poignantly reveals the jumble of insincerity and good intentions beneath Henry's boisterous exterior, while the callow streak that Efron has often displayed as an actor has never felt as raw, vital and emotionally explosive as it does here. Before it reaches a full-blown Sturm und Drang pitch, the tense father-son dynamic feels believably rooted in a long history of resentments and misunderstandings, yet it's also complicated by Dean's willingness to defend his dad against those who seek his downfall.

Guardian excerpts:
It's an unusual premise and some of the acting isn't bad, but the story is messy and unsatisfying with a plot-hole you could drive a dozen combine harvesters through, the ending is an outrageous fudge and the lead performance from Dennis Quaid is strange to say the least – for which responsibility must probably be shared between director and actor.


Perhaps oddly, Zac Efron is the one showing us how it's done: a decent, focused performance that isn't trying too hard.

The Ebert article/sort-of review got pulled so out of respect, I'm going to wait until they release it next week (at the right time) to post excerpts.

ETA, Indiewire excerpts:
Given real struggles to convey, Quaid delivers some of his finest acting in the movie's closing scenes, his furrowed brow pointing to a pair of focused eyes that say a lot more than the script's rampant issue-based dialogue. Efron keeps pace with a less demanding but equally tense turn that easily tops anything else in his comparatively shorter oeuvre.
Mood: hothot
11 11 comments Comment
It's Audrey not Aubreyaudrey_za on September 2nd, 2012 11:17 pm (UTC)
My favorite blurb from First Showing's review:

Actors, even those who've given mediocre performances in the past, can be improved by a talented director who knows what he's doing, and inherently knows the story and all the characters in it top to bottom.

It's nice to see critics able to praise (when it seems popular at times to write him off due to his looks, privilege, etc) Zac's effort given, in lieu of a brief career in film thus far.
kleth on September 3rd, 2012 03:13 am (UTC)
"even those who've given mediocre performances in the past"

What's he hinting? Zac has been mediocre in the past, but thanks to Bahrani he's good in this movie?
countessm3countessm3 on September 3rd, 2012 01:01 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I didn't like the sound of that either. It credits Bahrani 100% for any improvement in Zac's acting, as if he can *make* Zac better. You can have Zeus directing you, but if you don't have the inherent talent, you're not going to improve much.

B brought out Zac's talent by making him work for it, and for that I'm grateful.
It's Audrey not Aubreyaudrey_za on September 4th, 2012 03:17 pm (UTC)
It's not wrong to assume past onscreen endeavors were mediocre (even for what it may have been, ie DCOM's turned feature film) be it in acting, writing or perhaps both in comparison to his stronger cinematic turns as time goes on.

Yes, praise is being given to Bahrani and Zac (albeit at the notion that he's been weak as an actor prior, which again is not false), but I'm not going to get into dramatics about ~what it all means~. My sentiments stand that I liked the First Showing review exactly as is.