Transferring from the hearthrob to arthouse phase of one’s career can be difficulty. As we’ve recently witnessed, Robert Pattinson is attempting to do so with the help of David Cronenberg, while Shia LaBeouf is going from Michael Bay to Lars von Trier. The latest in line is Zac Efron, who recently attempted such a shift with The Paperboy, but has another chance with this spring’s At Any Price.
Directed by Ramin Bahrani, who has given us stellar, realist character dramas with Chop Shop and Man Push Cart, the film is certainly his biggest undertaking yet, mixing the world of racing with farming. It’s an odd combonation, but judging from this look it seems to work well. Make sure to read our take on the film from Toronto last fall and see the trailer below for the film also starring Dennis Quaid and Heather Graham.
Midwestern seed farmer Henry Whipple (Dennis Quaid), the now middle-aged son of a brusque, unforgiving old patriarch (Red West), wants nothing more in the world than to have his son Dean (Zac Efron) take over the family business. But Dean has other plans. Not one for the patience-testing, decidedly unglorious life of a farmer, he dreams of a career as a race-car driver. Henry, however, is so preoccupied with living up to the weighty expectations placed upon him that he remains oblivious to the situation before his eyes — a son trying to find an escape route, and a wife (Kim Dickens) desperately trying to hold onto her husband’s attention and affection. His already fraught home life — teeming with unspoken tensions and accusations-reaches a boiling point when Henry’s operation comes under investigation.
At Any Price opens on April 26th.