Ramin Bahrani paints an unusually dark portrait of life in the Iowa heartland set against the backdrop of today’s fiercely competitive world of high-tech agribusiness in his new film, At Any Price. Opening in theaters on April 26th, the drama melds timeless themes of fathers and sons, ambition and rebellion, morality and survival, with a sharply de-romanticized view of modern farming. The film stars Dennis Quaid, Zac Efron, Kim Dickens, Heather Graham and Maika Monroe and marks Bahrani’s first film with a larger budget and cast of professional actors.
During the interview, Bahrani and Quaid described the film as a modern day version of Death of a Salesman and Quaid’s character as a Willy Loman for our times who’s chasing the American dream and corrupting himself in the process. Quaid discussed what attracted him to the complex role, how he prepared, and why he chose not to judge his character. Bahrani revealed how he feels the film reflects the world we live in today and provides a stark commentary on the state of the American dream, the economic pressures we now face, and how far some people will go to protect their way of life. He also discussed his next project which focuses on the Florida housing crisis. Hit the jump to read more:
The American Dream is based on keeping the nuclear family intact and creating uninterrupted growth of property. Our families can always be closer, and we can always have more wealth. That’s the “dream” part, since families can’t stay close if some members expect to grow their independence, and acquiring more wealth usually means taking it away from somebody else. Ramin Bahrani‘s At Any Price doesn’t show the corruption of the American Dream; it shows the American Dream’s complexity. Set in the American heartland and revolving around farming—the industry our nation was built on, and one that still relies on family relationships—At Any Price is a thoughtful, rich exploration of how there’s not enough dream to go around.
We have a couple minor casting stories for you this afternoon. First up, Dougray Scott and Kara Tointon will lead Omid Nooshin’s low-budget thriller Last Passenger. Per THR, the film tells “the story of a doctor who finds himself on a runaway commuter train.” A runaway train is serious business and at the very least that doctor is going to be seriously inconvenienced. The film is part of Pinewood Shepperton’s investment fund for low-budgeted movies. With a budget slightly above £1.2 million ($2.5 million), Last Passenger will be co-financed by Future Film and the BFI Film Fund. According to THR, “Pinewood Shepperton is aiming to back four films a year from first-timers, with a combined budget of around $13 million.” Their first film is the Crispian Mills and Chris Hopewell “psycho-comedy” A Fantastic Fear of Everything starring Simon Pegg.
Hit the jump for casting news on the next film from Ramin Bahrani (Goodbye Solo).