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Luce

This gripping psychological thriller about subjectivity and code-switching in modern America marks Julius Onah (The Cloverfield Paradox) as one of cinema’s most thrilling emerging voices.

Dir Julius Onah
Prod John Baker, Julius Onah, Andrew Yang
Scr J C Lee, Julius Onah
With Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Kelvin Harrison Jr
USA
2019
109min
UK Distribution Universal Pictures International

Luce (Kelvin Harrison Jr) is a former refugee, a child soldier from a war-torn African country. Seemingly recovered from his childhood trauma, he now lives in his adoptive country as the son of white liberal middle-class parents (Tim Roth and Naomi Watts). His high school’s brightest hope – a fiercely intelligent debater and star athlete – Luce seems destined to achieve great things. But after he chooses Franz Fanon as an assignment to deliver a paper in the voice of a historical figure, Luce’s English teacher (Octavia Spencer) becomes suspicious that something darker may lurk beneath his highly-controlled exterior. Shot on crisp 35mm, with production design as restrained, precise and potent as the storytelling, this is deeply satisfying filmmaking: disciplined, canny, provocative and complex, like Luce himself.

Tricia Tuttle

Additional information

All screenings are accessible screenings for customers who are blind or partially-sighted. The film has an audio-description soundtrack, and headphones are available on request.

The screening on Monday 7 October is an accessible screening for customers who are D/deaf or hard or hearing. The film has English language subtitles, including descriptions of non-dialogue audio.

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