In this eye-opening psychological drama, director Julius Onah skilfully looks beneath the surface of the American Dream. Elegant and energetic, Luce is a complex and revealing film about trust, privilege, and the human need to categorise the world as we see it.
It's been ten years since Amy and Peter Edgar (Naomi Watts and Tim Roth) adopted their son from war-torn Eritrea, and they thought the worst was behind them. Luce Edgar (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) is now an all-star student beloved by his community. His African American teacher, Harriet Wilson (Octavia Spencer), believes he is a symbol of black excellence that sets a positive example for his peers. But when he is assigned to write an essay in the voice of a historical twentieth-century figure, Luce turns in a paper that makes an alarming statement about political violence. Worried about how this assignment reflects upon her star pupil, Harriet searches his locker and finds something that confirms her worst fears.
"We need to talk" is a message delivered frequently in Luce but it's not always listened to. It's that inability to say what we mean - and our desire to see only what we want - that leads to disaster in this tricky drama. Anchored by standout performances by Watts, Spencer and newcomer Harrison Jr., it's a strong film about race, family and trust that will connect with fans of smart, provocative cinema.
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