Tony Goldwyn is not only an accomplished actor but also an impressive director. While he may be best known for his acting roles in films like “Ghost” and TV shows like “Scandal,” Goldwyn has quietly built an impressive résumé as a director. He has directed films such as “A Walk on the Moon,” “The Last Kiss,” “Conviction,” and most recently, “Ezra.” The dramedy, “Ezra,” recently had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and received rave reviews, particularly for the performance of its lead actor, Bobby Cannavale.
“Ezra” tells the story of a single father, Max (Cannavale), who is fiercely protective of his autistic son, Ezra (William Fitzgerald). Instead of allowing Ezra to be sent to a special school and medicated, Max takes him on the run. The film also stars Rose Byrne as the boy’s mother, Tony Goldwyn as her new boyfriend, Robert De Niro as the boy’s grandfather, and Whoopi Goldberg, Rainn Wilson, and Vera Farmiga as friends of the father.
Goldwyn recently shared some insights about “Ezra” with The Hollywood Reporter. He revealed that the film is a personal passion project for him and others involved. Tony Spiridakis, the film’s screenwriter, has been Goldwyn’s best friend for over 40 years. The film is based on Spiridakis’ relationship with his autistic son, Dimitri. As someone who went through a similar ordeal to Max, Goldwyn was determined to bring Spiridakis’ story to the screen. Over the years, Spiridakis had been working on various drafts of the script, and two years ago, he finally approached Goldwyn, who was blown away by the progress made and immediately decided to direct and produce the film with his friend.
While putting the film together, it was essential for Goldwyn and Spiridakis to keep the autistic community central to the process. They made sure to involve autistic individuals in the film’s cast and crew, with William A. Fitzgerald, an extraordinary autistic actor, playing the role of Ezra.
One of the standout performances in “Ezra” comes from Bobby Cannavale. Goldwyn praised Cannavale, saying that he embodies everything they were looking for in the character of Max. Cannavale brings an electric volatility and danger to his roles, but his enormous heart is always apparent. Besides being an incredibly talented actor, Cannavale also has a passion for stand-up comedy, which worked perfectly for the character of Max. Additionally, as a father himself, Cannavale understands and portrays Max’s undying devotion to his son.
With the film’s premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Goldwyn and the team behind “Ezra” garnered significant attention. The film received a standing ovation at its premiere screening and generated critical acclaim. As a result, the sales team is currently in discussion with multiple interested buyers. Goldwyn’s ideal distributor for the film would be one that is passionate about the project and truly supports it. While the industry may be uncertain at the moment, Goldwyn believes that with the right backing, “Ezra” can break through and reach a wide audience, similar to the success of the film “CODA.”
In conclusion, Tony Goldwyn’s latest directorial venture, “Ezra,” has captured the attention and hearts of audiences and critics alike. The film’s personal connection to the autistic community, coupled with outstanding performances from Bobby Cannavale and the rest of the cast, has made it a stand-out at the Toronto International Film Festival. With its powerful story and talented team behind it, “Ezra” has the potential to resonate with a wide audience, and Goldwyn hopes to find a distributor who shares his passion for the film and can help it reach its full potential.