Daniel Radcliffe is Amazing in “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story”

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, and newer tracks like his take on Usher's hit in Confessions Part III.

If you had 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.

Weird: The AL Yankovic Story, 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. Like the career it is based on, the film is over the top. Certain liberties may be taken with the facts, but that makes the film even more brilliant. Expect to see a theatrical parody about a man's life that is . . . well . . . based on parodies.

The film explores how some of his biggest hits were created, but more so, the audience gets to know the person behind the songs.

Daniel Radcliffe, who has previously wowed audiences at TIFF and especially Midnight Madness, is amazing in this film. He nails the performance. He stepped out of the Harry Potter shadow long ago and has 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 much with her material.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable film. AL Yankovic has always been musically entertaining, but in this film, we are reminded, because let us not forget UHF, that he can do it theatrically.

Grade: B+

Watch the movie trailer: