30 March 2020 | HotToastyRag
Incredible talent pooled together
Did you like As I Lay Dying and The Sound and the Fury? You'll want to check out In Dubious Battle, another classic story brought to the big screen by director and actor James Franco. During the Great Depression, migrant workers strike and fight for fairer wages, but since it's based off a John Steinbeck book, so you know it's going to be a touch more dramatic than Norma Rae.
Nat Wolff is the main character, but if you've only seen him in quirky movies and can't take him seriously yet, don't worry. He's surrounded by such heavyweights you'll have plenty of other people to focus on. Nat teams up with James Franco and Ahna O'Reilly to stir up activism within poor laborers, and they infiltrate a group of apple pickers headed by Vincent D'Onofrio. Since this is a Steinbeck story, you'll be on the lookout for the "old man with the dog" character: Ed Harris briefly graces the screen, albeit sans canine. Ladies, if you had a crush on the blue-eyed charmer in the '90s, you might want to skip this one.
Seeing so many familiar faces in the cast who have worked with Franco in previous films-Nat Wolff, Ahna O'Reilly, Ed Harris, Robert Duvall, Scott Haze, Bryan Cranston, Jack Kehler, Joel Marsh Garland, Selena Gomez, and Keegan Allen-is a big compliment. If someone is difficult or unpleasant to work with, actors generally won't flock to be a part of his next project. Having such a combination of stage and screen legends, including Sam Shepard, attaching their names to his film is a way of publicly declaring their respect for his talent.
If you're a Steinbeck fan, or if you haven't seen one a James Franco directed movie yet, pick this one up. It's a very thoughtful piece, and it's great to see so many classically trained actors pooling their talents together. Granted, those who have obviously studied acting and had stage experience constantly show up the younger folks, but that's to be expected.