The Iron Claw is one of the hundred movies premiering in the next week—December is always a clusterf-ck but it feels extra bad this year and I can’t decide if it’s because there IS a glut of films premiering late due to the strikes, or I’m just feeling extra lazy this year.
Anyway, the premiere for The Iron Claw was last night in LA, and it brought out stars Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, Holt McCallany, Maura Tierney, and Stanley Simons, as well as writer/director Sean Durkin. The National Board of Review named The Iron Claw one of the best films of 2023, as well as citing it for Best Ensemble. I’ll have my review next week, but just know I cried for the entire last hour of the film.
The premiere also brought out John Cena, who looked excited to meet Kevin Von Erich, the lone surviving son of pro wrestler and promoter Fritz Von Erich. Efron plays Kevin in the film, and I will just say it, if that role were played by anyone else, they’d be a major contender for Best Actor, but the Academy is not prepared to take Zac Efron seriously (yet).
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is taking him seriously, though, or rather, they’re taking the fee paid to get Efron a star on the Walk of Fame seriously. He was honored with a star on the Walk of Fame yesterday, with his co-star Jeremy Allen White and friend—and former co-star—Miles Teller there to induct him. You can see the whole presentation here, it’s genuinely sweet when Efron acknowledges Matthew Perry.
The Walk of Fame ceremony should be a stop on the way to Zac Efron’s first Oscar nomination, but he’s so pretty and a product of the Disney factory, the Academy will make him sweat it out before acknowledging he’s grown into a good actor. I’m also not convinced some Academy members know Zac Efron and Austin Butler are two different people. (Butler got a kind of pass last year, because to many people, he came out of nowhere and they only learned of his Disney-Nickelodeon past after they already started nominating him for stuff.) But Efron’s time is coming. His work in The Iron Claw is too good to be a fluke. He’s levelled up as an actor, and eventually, people will notice and start taking him seriously.