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Summer moviegoers searching for a warm and persuasive film can count on Ezra. The new comedy-drama is helmed by Tony Goldwyn (A Walk on the Moon, Conviction, TV’s Scandal), with the same energy and elegance, whose directing style aligns with Tony Spiridakis’ (Greenport, Queen’s Logic) passion filled script about a troubled comic facing challenges in co-parenting his autistic child. This is a nice road trip film that may lack flow as it comes to an end, nevertheless with its cast of stars, well developed narrative and sharp direction approach, Ezra sparkles like a diamond.

Enter Bobby Cannavale as Max (a deeply moving one), a stand-up comedian down on his luck who at this point of his life cannot catch a break both privately and professionally. Though he thinks it is not worth living with his dad (Robert De Niro), the joy of his life still lies within the kid called Ezra (William A. Fitzgerald) who suffers from autism. When Max makes up mind about Ezra’s fate again he decides impulsively to engage him into “road trip.” This however might cost him so much including his own freedom.

Ezra also features Whoopi Goldberg (Ghost, Harlem), Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air, The Conjuring), and Rainn Wilson (The Office). Look out for Goldwyn playing in a supporting role too. It has one of those casts you dream about having done some incredible piece of acting ,there was bit of an air around these actors which could only suggest they knew they were involved in something great when making this movie. It suits all ages but even for general audiences it demonstrates how families work together to address issues such as generational miscommunication patterns or protect their children from external threats like bad influence thus being able to assist them grow up properly. It’s a loving type of travel story.

Bobby Cannavale is one of the greatest delights Ezra provides (and there are many). This film sees him completely open up emotionally, as he did when he won his second Emmy. For Max, who is usually such a reliable actor, it’s like all creative barriers have been removed in terms of acting. Most of the film is driven by Cannavale’s performance. Max is anything but a joke-cracking dynamo on stage; instead, he fumbles through funny stories. Fifty bucks per gig doesn’t cut it for the stand-up comic struggling to stay alive. Jayne (Goldberg) the manager feels sorry for Max but she too can’t go on letting him have his way every time out. Inappropriate parental conflicts and onstage blow-ups only add fuel to Max’s disjointed emotional flames.

Robert De Niro still has it as an overprotective dad, if you were asking yourself that question. De Niro acts as Stan in this case who is Max’s father, who previously played a similar role opposite Sebastian Maniscalco in About My Father last year although here De Niro gives us something more realistic and grounded. The confrontation between Stan and Max is far from being resolved; however, a surface-level explanation for their separation appears later on in the movie and it captures that well enough throughout with a focus on father-son relationships that centers around the duo of Ezra and himself without overlooking Max.

The direction of the tides is changing. Ezra’s tantrums in school are increasing— he does not like any kind of contact. It used to be that Max and Jenna were able to prevent such tantrums by gently rubbing Max’s earlobes, but lately he seems to be much more easily agitated. Instead, Jenna’s decision to have a doctor evaluate Ezra provoked Max and instead of facing this hard decision, Max abducted Ezra in Stan’s old car. Later he told Ezra that they were going for an exciting road trip while it actually became one through use of the automobile. The film then changes its gear becoming a father-son story with hilarious episodes, unexpected twists and turns of events as the clock ticks faster on solving an escalating problem which brings in the FBI when Jenna tries locating Ezra while Stan channels Max from away.

However, it is William A Fitzgerald as newcomer here who turns out playing role of Ezra with impact upon boy which makes his elders surprised but who understands what makes him safe. It just takes him some time before he realizes it and maybe at too high cost. These two characters make their presence felt naturally – or rather they fit in well with each other.

In this case Cannavale and Fitzgerald are seamless together as follows: these actors give us two persons worth caring and investing into.

The script avoids clichéd tropes for road movies where we see our father-son duo taking detours first to visit Max’s friend (Rainn Wilson) who is a comedian then a farm owned by Grace (Vera Farmiga), a woman filled with compassion whom Max had met once long ago. While max keeps his focus on building bonds between himself and his brother; eventually he will get them all over to Hollywood where his manager has helped him secure a slot on Jimmy Kimmel Live. To some extent film wobbles towards its closure hence screenwriter Tony Spiridakis seems struggling to wrap up everything, but not so much that it doesn’t entirely stick the landing.

The truth is that Ezra was based on Spiridakis’s own child with neurodivergence, who is now twenty-four. The scriptwriter had previously explored father-son themes in his 2017 pilot Greenport which centred on a man raising his son who has autism. Thus, there is a personal dimension to Spiridakis’ involvement with the movie and it seems that everyone associated with the project (from Goldwyn through De Niro and Cannavale and Byrne, who are together a real-life couple that have starred in projects dear to their hearts already [check out Seriously Red if you want some escapism]) became deeply invested in getting it right.

The film also features some behind-the-scenes titans. For example, Sabine Hoffman (who edited Passing and The Glorias) creates an exhilaratingly fast-paced narrative that imparts throughout the sense of motion. Producers such as William Horberg, Jon Kilik,Golwdyn and Spiridakis seem to have met production crew members who understood what spirit and soul of the film were all about.

However,it is the cast and main story which dominate here. It is a story many people can relate to due to its focus on love, connection, acceptance, and acknowledging our differences. In the latter half of this film; it delves into unraveling three generations of miscommunication—Stan, Max and Ezra—and how they ripple down through time.

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