'Luce': Release date, plot, cast, trailer and everything you need to know about the mystery drama on prejudice and racism
'A married couple is forced to reckon with their idealized image of their son, adopted from war-torn Eritrea, after an alarming discovery by a devoted high school teacher threatens his status as an all-star student', reads the synopsis
'Luce' first premiered at the Sundance festival this year and received rave reviews as it questioned prejudice and racism.
Luce is a high-school all-star who serves as a captain of the basketball team and seems to be a "model student", on track to become valedictorian of his senior class. He hails from Eritrea where he was trained to be a child soldier but was adopted by liberal American parents. Comfortable upper-class family life takes a massive turn when one of Luce’s teachers, Harriet Wilson, suggests that Luce is a threat because of his assignment paper where he proposed radical ideas. A search in his locker leads to the discovery of a bag of illegal fireworks. The suspense looms on who is lying and if a person is defined by their past.
'Luce' releases in theatres on August 2
The synopsis of the film reads: "A married couple is forced to reckon with their idealized image of their son, adopted from war-torn Eritrea, after an alarming discovery by a devoted high school teacher threatens his status as an all-star student."
Oscar-nominated actress Naomi Watts stars as Amy Edgar, Luce's liberal mother who is proud of her son but things change after the teacher complains about Luce's disturbing essay for a class assignment. The 50-year-old Watts rose to international prominence for playing an aspiring actress in David Lynch's psychological thriller 'Mulholland Drive' (2001) and a tormented journalist in the horror remake 'The Ring' (2002). She received Academy Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards nomination for Best Actress for her performance as a grief-stricken mother in Alejandro González Iñárritu's neo-noir '21 Grams' (2003).
The teacher, Harriet Wilson, is played by Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, who is one of two black actresses to have received three Academy Award nominations and the first black actress to receive two consecutive Academy Award nominations in back-to-back years. Octavia's breakthrough came in 2011 when she played a maid in 1960s America in 'The Help', and received Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress for playing the mathematician Dorothy Vaughan in the biographical drama 'Hidden Figures' (2016), and a cleaning woman in the Oscar-winning film 'The Shape of Water' (2017).
Kelvin Harrison Jr.
Newcomer Kelvin Harrison Jr. plays Luce Edgar, the protagonist, a former child soldier adopted by white parents in an upper-class family. The 24-year-old actor is best known for his role as Travis in the 2017 horror film 'It Comes at Night'.
Oscar-nominated actor and director Tim Roth stars as Peter Edgar, Luce's father. Roth was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer for his 1984 film 'The Hit'. For the historical drama 'Rob Roy', the 58-year-old won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He made his directorial debut with 'The War Zone' (1999) and received critical accolades.
Julius Onah, a Nigerian-American filmmaker, wrote, directed and produced 'Luce'. Onah's work has screened at festivals around the world including Sundance, Berlin, Tribeca, London, Dubai, Los Angeles, Melbourne and Camerimage. In 2010, he was selected as one of Filmmaker magazine's 25 New Faces of Independent Film and in 2013, he featured in Forbes Magazine's 13 African Celebrities To Watch. Son of Adoga Onah, a former Nigerian diplomat, Onah graduated from NYU's film program and his first feature as his thesis was 'The Girl Is in Trouble' with executive producer Spike Lee, featuring Alicja Bachleda, Wilmer Valderrama, Columbus Short, and Jesse Spencer. Prior to 'Luce' he recently completed 'The Cloverfield Paradox' with producer JJ Abrams.
The official trailer released in early June and had fans raving about the suspense on "who is lying?" With the teacher accusing Luce of propagating violence in an assignment, depicting that you cannot escape your past, Luce struggles to maintain his innocence in front of his liberal and loving parents.
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