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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
kleth on September 3rd, 2012 03:18 am (UTC)
Ha ha. The Guardian review is so diametrically opposite from everyone else that it's funny. But they do agree with everyone about The Zeffer. I guess that's good. But why do they say "Perhaps oddly..."? Guess they didn't expect a good performance. When will these people learn?
annabelle83 on September 3rd, 2012 03:36 am (UTC)
That reviewer from The Guardian(Peter Bradshaw) was one of the critics who praised The Paperboy and he wrote "Zac Efron is very good as the sad, motherless boy, whose only friend is the family's stoical maid Anita, nicely played by Macy Gray." in his Paperboy review. So, At Any Price is not the first film he thought Zac was good.

It's like critics are little ashamed to admit Zac is a good actor. :( They've been saying for years that he's "surprisingly" good.
countessm3countessm3 on September 3rd, 2012 01:40 pm (UTC)
I understand it to some extent. If you will allow me to draw an analogy, I think I can explain.

We snooty, elitist English majors (those of us who praise the classics while disdaining the ersatz postmodern literature) thumb are noses at anything contemporary, and especially anything contemporary and pop. We oppose it on principle and on experience, for it lacks wit, intelligence, and depth.

So when we come across some pop fiction or contemporary writer who is actually good - and here I use Anne Rice, as she is the ONLY contemporary writer who has talent to me - it literally *hurts* to admit it. We *resist* admitting it, and when we do, we feel very uncomfortable, as if we'd just confessed a private guffaw, like putting on dirty underwear in the morning or catching an episode of Jersey Shore. It's simply embarrassing.

These directors are no different than us; they are simply in a different medium. They are experts in their area; they have culled a sophisticated taste in film and all things related to it. So when Mr. Fancy Pants Sing-and-Dance High School Musical Kid comes along and gives an excellent performance, it hurts to admit it. It's like confessing to a private guffaw, like putting on dirty underwear in the morning or catching an episode of Jersey Shore. It's simply embarrassing.

And they don't want him to be good. Truthfully, they wish he wasn't because then it would feel like they were wearing a fresh pair of crisp, clean underwear. Everything would be in its place; nothing would be amiss.

But he is good and that's the rub. He's the exception to the otherwise exceptionless theory, the needle in the couch that pricks when they sit down to watch a film. What to do with Zac Efron? That's the quandry.

I suspect as he continues to learn and grow and to distance himself from his kiddie movies they will grow more comfortable with admitting he's good. What he needs to do is show them he's a serious actor by chosing quality parts and conducting himself like a mature, responsible human being.

And before I hear "What about that new movie" I will tell you that work is respectable on principle, and he has to feed his family and pay bills, and the old adage "it's easier to find a job when you have a job" is still true. It shows he's employable and humble.

Some movies are made for money and some for art. One can only sustain one's idealism by giving realism it's due.