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04 May 2013

At Any Price (Film Review): "Eyes Not Averted"

For many people who endured the long lines to watch “Iron Man 3” even in the second week run of the film, “At Any Price” does not ring a bell.  This is just one of those movies that died under the enormous weight of a giant bag of popcorn we call “Iron Man 3.”

Unfortunately, after a two-day run in the cinema, “At Any Price” has now totally disappeared and replaced by more Hollywood commercial films.  I admit that the movie is not for everyone.  If you think superhero movies and Twilight-like sagas are the crème de la crème, then I suggest you skip this movie.


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“At Any Price” runs like a novel. Director Ramin Bahrani build the story layer by layer until it reached its climax, and if you stay in the cinema that long, you will have a clear idea of who the characters are in the film, their intentions and personal demons.  Then, everything about the film makes sense, and the audience begins to see the bigger picture, fragmented and not easy to take.

Personally, one of the most curious thing about the film is the singing of the American anthem before a car race.  The crowd sang the anthem in its entirety, not in parts but from start to finish as colorful American flags perched on race cars pass by. The state of America is perhaps encapsulated in that seemingly mundane scene.

“At Any Price” may be the true picture of America in the eyes of an American director who refuses to avert his eyes.  (The film is penned by Hallie Newton and Raimin Bahrani.)

Magnificent Dennis Quiad
Dennis Quaid performance is superb.  In fact, his performance is the anchor of the film.  Director Bahrani fixed his gaze on Quaid’s character, which helped move the story even in its quiet moments.  Quiad hooked the audience and some of us may not agree with his character’s decisions, still, we see a more human performance than another actor trying to win an award.  Part of the reason why “At Any Price” works is Dennis Quaid.  “Do I see an Oscar nomination before me?”

4/5
NOTE: The other contributing writers and members of this blog do not necessarily share the opinions of the writer of this article. (Hindi nangangahulugan na sang-ayon ang mga ibang manunulat at miyembro ng blog na ito sa mga opiniyon ng may akda ng sanaysay na ito.)

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