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Luce

The truth has many faces

Luce is a prickly drama about a young African-American man straddling the extremes between praise and punishment.

Poster for the social-issues drama LuceKevin Harrison, Jr. plays the titular star athlete and academic. Luce is also a former child refugee from Eritrea, rescued from wartime traumas and adopted by eager white liberal parents, Amy (Naomi Watts) and Peter (Tim Roth). They raise him into an impeccably packaged success story.

Chipping away at Luce’s all-too-perfect demeanour is his history teacher, Harriet Wilson (Octavia Spencer), who is suspicious about the poster boy after a troubling paper he wrote for her class. As the narrative progresses and the plot thickens, the film keeps us guessing as to whether Ms. Wilson has an agenda, taking extrajudicial steps to address Luce’s curious behaviour, or whether the student himself is on a destructive path, perhaps to dismantle the symbol he’s made to be.

– Radheyan Simonpillai, NOW Toronto

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