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At Any Price
With “At Any Price,” director Ramin Bahrani (“Goodbye Solo”) moves into the American heartland and closer to the Hollywood mainstream, with a starry cast and ambitious themes that strain for the Shakespearean. That he doesn’t quite pull it off doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have tried.
Besides, the movie’s worth seeing for Dennis Quaid tearing into his most complex role in years: Henry Whipple, an Iowa farmer, seed salesman for an agribusiness giant, and a hollow man. (Zac Efron is very effective as his rebellious son.) Bahrani fills the frame with weathered faces and “At Any Price” feels like it unfolds in something close to the real America. But he wants to give us larger-than-life drama, and his strengths are life-sized.