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Weird: The Al Yankovic Story- TIFF Movie Review
September 9, 2022

Synopsis: Explores every facet of Yankovic’s life, from his meteoric rise to fame with early hits like ‘Eat It’ and ‘Like a Surgeon’ to his torrid celebrity love affairs and famously depraved lifestyle.

Director: Eric Appel

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Evan Rachel Wood

The Midnight Madness program at the Toronto International Film Festival needs to be on any cinephiles ‘to-do’ list. The crowd combined with the atmosphere makes it a unique experience. TIFF also does a great job of programming unique films during this time and kicking off the Midnight Madness program this year was Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.

It’s crazy to think that Yankovic has made a career of parodying songs from other artists, but he has done so at a high level for decades. His songs are sometimes more entertaining than the originals they are based on. Of course, there are the old classics like I’m Fat, Like a Surgeon but also newer tracks like his take on Usher’s hit with Confessions Part III.

If you would have told most that Yankovic would have had such a long career, I don’t know if they would have seen it but he is consistently funny and has the following to back it up.

This film, written by Appel and Yankovic, takes an interesting look at Yankovic’s life. We start with him as a young boy and explore how he stumbled into the music business. The film, like the career it is based on, is over the top. There may be certain liberties taken with the facts that happened and that just makes the film even more brilliant. We are getting a theatrical parody about a man’s life, that is…well…based on parodies.

We explore how some of his biggest hits are created but more so, we get to know the person behind the songs.

Daniel Radcliffe, who has wowed audiences at TIFF and especially Midnight Madness before, is amazing in this film. He nails the performance. I think he stepped out of the Harry Potter shadow a long time ago and has really solidified himself as a very strong actor.

Evan Rachel Wood is also strong in this movie. She plays a love interest to Yankovic and does a lot with her material.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable film. AL Yankovic has always been entertaining from a musical standpoint and with this film, he reminds us, because let us not forget UHF, that he can do it theatrically as well.

Grade: B+

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