There is a pretty good film called Goodbye Solo that you may want to check out. It’s a great introduction to filmmaker Ramin Bahrani. But Bahrani is a bit taxed by his latest, At Any Price, which conjoins two plots that aren’t particularly interesting and uses them to form a perimeter around his real subject, the plight of the modern American farmer. Henry Whipple (Dennis Quaid) is a farmer in Iowa, beset not only by professional problems but also personal ones. Whipple’s son (Zac Efron) is a rebellious NASCAR driver who finds making his own way just as difficult. The racing scenes have some impact and are well composed, but the rest of the film never resonates the way it should. In part, that’s because the full story never materializes for the actors. In part, it’s because Bahrani mistakenly tries a velvet glove approach to a movie about policy.
Director: Ramin Bahrani
Producer: Christine Vachon, Ramin Bahrani, Kevin Turen, Justin Nappi, Pamela Koffler, Teddy Schwarzman, Ron Curtis, Mohammed Turki, Eric Nyari and Brian Young
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Zac Efron, Kim Dickens, Heather Graham, Clancy Brown, Chelcie Ross, Red West, Maika Monroe and Ben Marten