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Luce A Well Constructed Thought Revoking Drama Grade: B+

Source: IMDB

Luce is about an adopted young scholar athlete Luce (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), whom believes his teacher Harriet Wilson (Octavia Spencer) is out to get him. It seems everyone around Luce loves him, except this one teacher. A past assignment Luce had in Wilson’s class, brought some concern to his teacher. Concern that she even went through Luce’s locker, as she found illegal fireworks in his locker. She called his adopted mother Amy (Naomi Watts) to her classroom, told her about her concerns with her son, as now Amy and her husband Peter (Tim Roth) begin to worry about their young bright son. Witness a family that grows uncertainty for their son, as well as social commentary towards privilege. The Cinematography was fine, the film looked good but not any note worthy shots to talk about. I did enjoy The Score, especially this one dark tune that was introduced in the beginning, as it came about a couple more times. The cast was good as a whole, there were a couple of supporting roles I wasn’t too fond of, but other than that some dope performances. Harriet Wilson played by Octavia Spencer, I mean it’s Octavia Spencer you know exactly she’s going to bring her A-Game every single time she’s in a film, a really good performance. I don’t feel there was ever a moment, where I wasn’t on Harriet’s side. She was a stand up gal, whom wanted to do the right thing and enforce discipline when rules are broken. Her concern with Luce is reasonable, I mean the way the world is today, if a young teenager whom hasn’t lived long enough to understand how life works, as one displays thoughts of agreeing a historic figures thoughts of condoning violence to prove a point... Yes, I would feel cautious about this young man, despite this was an assignment. Though I understand invasion of privacy, but Harriet did the right thing because you never know especially in a world like this. Kelvin Harrison Jr. playing Luce displayed a great performance. I for sure couldn’t stand this little prick, he’s a master at manipulating people to believe that he’s oh so innocent, when he’s just a punk. Because of his reputation Luce could literally get away with murder, it’s spiteful but digging deep on what this character means... It makes your skin crawl, as it feels scary to know this is reality for some. Naomi Watts and Tim Roth both played pretty good performances as Luce’s adopted parents. I felt more could’ve been given to Peter, regarding his concern with Luce. Although I do believe a mother’s doubt towards her baby boy is more interesting instead of a father, as a mother believes there is no way their child can do no wrong, regardless of anything her son is accused of. A surprise supporting performance I really thought was emotionally riveting, was Andrea Bang playing Luce’s love interest Stephanie. Her scene alone with Luce’s mother at a coffee shop came out of nowhere, as I was stunned how great she was in this scene. I do have my issues with Luce. It comes to my attention now as I can’t believe I didn’t think of it earlier... How did Harriet get into Luce’s locker?! If the principal had no idea on Harriet’s whereabouts, regarding invading Luce’s locker, then how did she get the combination?! Does this school handout every students locker combination to every teacher?! At first Peter was on Harriet’s side, as they should be concern towards her son’s behavior. But Peter later on in the film was on Luce’s side, after this one occurrence happens, as I’m trying to figure out how does he change sides after that?! I mean you can say he believes she’s out to get him, because her life is hard, so when someone has a great life she’s just a prick to them. But even then I don’t understand how one can change their view on someone over that. Though I have my issues with how it ends, I can’t help to think the film is trying to send a message to both issues, so it overrides my differences. Having this film sit with me for hours... There is a lot to like about this film, as it is a thought revoking film that makes you think. Some have compared this to We Need to Talk About Kevin, one of my favorite films of all time. In ways you can say they’re similar, I just believe We Need to Talk About Kevin is a better film and a way more interesting character study towards our main character. A main theme regarding this film is privilege. Luce came from a troubled background including being in a war zone, before being adopted by his parents. It took a lot of hard work to have Luce where he’s at today as a scholar athlete, with a bright future in his hands. Typically when you’re loved by your school faculty, your friends, your family... It’s easy to get away with just about everything, because everyone assumes you can’t do no wrong. There was a point in the film, where Luce’s teammate lost out on a scholarship because they found weed in his locker. His teammate basically asked Luce why he gets away with everything, when he has done worst than him, but he takes the fall?! This has been a common thing with schools, if they have a bright young student whom has potential to have a great future ahead of them... More than often the school will not discipline that student, rather than disciplining your common average student, that’s how corrupt the school systems are and trust me I’ve seen it with my own two eyes. It’s a film that sparks up a good conversation regarding privilege, millennials, and many more topics, themes, and even discussion on quite a few scenes, on what their meaning behind each of them. It’s refreshing to see a film, in which it’s trying to deliver messages despite the situations in which the film is dealing with is uncomfortable to sit with or come to terms that this is reality. By the end of the film you’ll feel pissed off, but you’ll understand why things have concluded this way, regarding Luce, his girlfriend, his teacher, and even his mother coming to terms with his son’s faults. I would go more into detail, but I believe you should check this film out yourselves. Overall, Luce is a pretty good film. I recommend this film, definitely worth the time, especially if you’re into films that make you think for a good period of time. -Mitch Smietana

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