A model student’s life becomes a nightmare in Luce

A superlative cast of Tim Roth, Naomi Watts, Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer and newcomer Kelvin Harrison Jr. make the drama LUCE look unmissable.

Writer/director Julius Onah looks like establishing himself as a major film-maker if the trailer for his new film LUCE is anything to go by. It’s one of those fantastically put-together trailers that I love, which doesn’t tell you too much, whilst whetting your appetite with lots of mysterious plot points and dramatic set-ups.

LUCE is a model high school student played with confidence and presence by newcomer Kelvin Harrison Jr. Although he started his life in a war-torn country, being adopted by well-to-do white Americans Amy and Peter Edgar (the amazing Naomi Watts and brilliant Tim Roth) has changed his fortunes. Now he is idolised by his teachers, his parents and his peers. Well, apart from one teacher. Harriet Wilson, played by Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer, is disturbed by the tone of an essay which Luce has written for her class. She feels there is something much more dangerous behind this boy’s perfect facade. But is she right? And is she all she seems?

A fascinating battle of wills develops between teacher and student, with Luce’s embattled parents on the sidelines. Onah has certainly assembled a superlative cast for his drama. It’s great to see Naomi Watts and Tim Roth reunited as husband and wife after their superb work in Michael Haneke’s American remake of Funny Games in 2007. And Octavia Spencer delivers another pitch-perfect performance as the teacher.

LUCE will be one to see when it opens on 8 November in the UK. Until then, take a look at that fantastically put-together trailer…