High drama in the Corn Belt. A high-volume, ambitious Iowa farmer (Dennis Quaid) faces crises both external – ruthless competition from agri-business seed companies – and within his family, from his race-car-driving prodigal son (Zac Efron). Before filmmaker Ramin Bahrani’s sincere, old-fashioned family saga runs out of gas in the last lap, the entire cast acts its heart out, with special honors to Quaid, Efron, Heather Graham, and Maika Monroe as Cadence, a farmer’s daughter turned super saleswoman. Could have been tremendously maudlin, but admirably avoids cheap pathos, and offers a glimpse into the sorts of lives often overlooked by Hollywood. Screenplay by Bahrani and Hallie Newton (105 min., 2012, rated R).
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