EZRA – Review by T. J. Callahan

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Ezra: “You are my everything, my mojo.”

When a 15 year old boy on the autism spectrum, acting in his first movie, outshines his heavy hitting Hollywood co-stars, you know he’s something special. If only his film, Ezra, was just as exceptional.

Ezra is based on the true story of a father-son road trip adventure of the fugitive kind. Bobby Cannavale is Max Brandel, a man on the verge of stardom as a stand up comedian who is living with his father, Stan (played by Robert DeNiro). Struggling to co-parent his 11 year old autistic son Ezra with his ex-wife, Jenna (Rose Byrne), Max is confronted with a difficult decision about the boy’s future and decides to go AWOL with Ezra in hopes of finding the right answer.

is Ezra. The teen was a mild mannered New Jersey school boy who liked acting when, on a whim, he auditioned for the film and won the part. He makes the movie watchable, stealing every scene he is in, which fortunately is a lot.

Tony Goldwyn directs and has a small role in Ezra that’s from a Tony Spiridakis story based on the writer’s own experiences. Whoopi Goldberg , Vera Farmiga and Rainn Wilson round out the cast of major players although none of them have much to do. The all-star cast is more illuminating than the script.

Ezra means well, bringing the struggles of autism to the forefront. A producer on the film is autistic, making sure the challenges are real, but the characters have too much past baggage that isn’t explained. Instead they overreact when they should be listening and tugging too hard on our heartstrings when they should just let the natural emotions flow.

Not to say Ezra isn’t touching and heartwarming, but it’s Fitzgerald who elevates this R rated dramady to a big screen production. My husband Ricky gives Ezra one 👁 open. I give it a 6 out of 10. Poignant yet manipulating.

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T. J. Callahan

Texas Radio Hall of Fame broadcaster, T.J. Callahan switched gears from traffic and news reporting as a member of the Marconi Award winning Hudson and Harrigan Show on KILT in Houston to directing you to the right movie theatre as the resident film critic for Houston Radio Platinum and 101 Gold , Southern New Mexico's favorite radio station. Since 2009, T.J. has exclusively critiqued premiering films on such stations as KRMD in Shreveport, La., KILT in Houston, WCKT in Sarasota, Fla., as well as on The Chris X Blayney Show on The Liberty Eagle Radio Network and The Sam Malone Show on KNTH in Houston. Entertaining and informative, T.J. gets right to the point and lets you know whether the latest epic is worth your time. Listen to her Friday and Saturdays on houstonradioplatinum.com and on Friday afternoons on the Leslie T. Travis Show on KVLC FM in Las Cruces. T.J. is also a proud member of the Critics Choice Association and the Houston Film Critics Society. She truly believes everything in life is one degree of Blazing Saddles.