James Franco is already a well-known actor, but not many people actually realize that he is quite an accomplished director as well. Of 15 feature films already. Yes, FIFTEEN. And he is not tackling light-hearted fare either, but chooses to take on a lot of very serious productions. Most recently he’s taken on the complex William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying, and now he’s taking on John Steinbeck with In Dubious Battle.
Now normally most of his movies don’t go mainstream and tend to be very arthouse type films. And in truth, this one probably still is. But its backed by quite an impressive cast list that includes Robert Duvall, Vincent D’Onofrio, Selena Gomez, Ed Harris, Bryan Cranston, Sam Shepard, Analeigh Tipton, Danny McBride, Josh Hutcherson, Zach Braff, and of course Franco himself. You certainly can’t go wrong with the acting here.
In Dubious Battle is based on a screenplay written by Matt Rager and revolves around an apple picker strike in 1930s California. So, again not exactly a compelling topic by description, but certainly looks a lot more compelling in its execution:
The film looks like it will tell a powerful story, though I can’t say the trailer did it for me. Yes, it was filled with lots of emotion and highlights the strong performances of its cast, but it perhaps revealed a little too much, looked a little too over the top and had jumpy editing. It has potential though and hopefully the final product gives the emotional story and talented cast justice.
In Dubious Battle does not have an official release date yet and is set for its world premiere at the upcoming Venice Film Festival. So, we will likely know soon from those early reviews if the film is any good, but it certainly looks like it has the potential for acclaim come award season.
Last Updated: September 1, 2016