DFF41 Spotlight: Ben is Back | Denver Film Society | Peter Hedges | USA

DFF41 Spotlight: Ben is Back

Peter Hedges

EnglishUSA2018103 min


  • Friday 11/2
  • 9:30 PM Ellie Caulkins Opera House Buy Add to My Festival
  • Overview

    From What’s Eating Gilbert Grape to About a Boy to Pieces of April (DFF26), quirky, poignant, character-driven stories about families struggling, in one way or another, to cohere are screenwriter/sometime director Peter Hedges’s calling card. Hedges returns to the director’s chair with his latest script, which sheds some of his signature offbeat humor in exchange for ripped-from-the-headlines urgency. It’s an appropriate trade.

    His real-life son, Lucas Hedges (see also Boy Erased in this year’s festival), stars as 19-year-old Ben, who shows up unannounced on his mother Holly’s doorstep just in time for Christmas. Holly—played by “world-class empathy generator” Julia Roberts (to use Variety’s review description)—is at once overjoyed and anguished to see him: Ben is, as it happens, a drug addict in rehab, and there’s no telling what might happen over the course of the next 24 hours.

    Instead, there’s only watching and waiting, with Ben’s wary stepfather Neal (Courtney B. Vance) and their other children by her side, for the Ghost of Christmas Past to make his entrance. So he does when the family dog goes missing—a stark reminder that past is always prologue, and the Ghost of Christmas Future is always waiting in the wings.

    Director Peter Hedges will be in attendance for the screening

    Producer: Peter Hedges, Nina Jacobson, Teddy Schwarzman, Brad Simpson | Editor: Ian Blume | Cinematographer: Stuart Dryburgh | Screenwriter: Peter Hedges
    Cast: Julia Roberts, Lucas Hedges, Courtney B. Vance, Kathryn Newton

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