Starring: Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Tim Roth, Brian Bradley, Norbert Leo Butz, Andrea Bang, Marsha Stephanie Blake
Psychological drama-thriller directed by Julius Onah, in which the story follows Luce Edgar (Harrison Jr.), a model student who was adopted by Amy and Peter Edgar (Naomi Watts and Tim Roth) from a war-torn African nation. Luce’s teacher, Harriet Wilson (Octavia Spencer), believes he is a symbol of black excellence that sets a positive example for his peers. But when he is assigned to write an essay in the voice of a historical twentieth-century figure, Luce turns in a paper that makes an alarming statement about political violence. Eager to protect her star pupil, Harriet investigates, but her discoveries force Luce’s parents to question their assumptions of who their adopted child really is and set a chain of events in motion that will change everyone’s lives forever.
[giving a speech]
Luce Edgar: When I first met my mother she couldn’t pronounce my name. My father suggested that they rename me. They picked Luce, which means light.
Harriet Wilson: Given Luce’s background, you and Peter must have faced quite a few challenges. The language barrier, the culture shock.
Amy Edgar: I mean you don’t pull a kid out of a warzone and have him turn out like Luce without a lot of help.
Harriet Wilson: Which is why this is so difficult.
Amy Edgar: Difficult?
Harriet Wilson: Last week he wrote a paper in which he argued that violence was a necessary cleansing force.
Amy Edgar: You teach this?
Harriet Wilson: I don’t.
[referring to Harriet’s issue with Luce]
Peter Edgar: So what?
Amy Edgar: Just something’s going on, and I want to be in front of it.
Luce Edgar: She thinks I’m a poster boy, a black kid who overcame his tragic past.
Amy Edgar: You really don’t like her, do you?
Peter Edgar: Okay. What about a responsibility to tell the truth?
Luce Edgar: What?
[to Amy; referring to Harriet]
Luce Edgar: You don’t conform to what she wants, and suddenly you’re the enemy.
Luce Edgar: I get how writing something like that might make someone freaked out. You really think I believe that stuff?
Harriet Wilson: I don’t know.
Luce Edgar: [to Harriet] Just goes to show you, you never really know what’s going on with people.
Peter Edgar: You threatened your teacher?
Luce Edgar: I didn’t.
Amy Edgar: Luce, don’t lie to me.
Luce Edgar: I’m not.
Amy Edgar: Luce!
Luce Edgar: It’s the truth.
Dan Towson: [to Harriet] If you Googled “model student”, Luce Edgar’s picture would come up on the computer.
Dan Towson: Isn’t there a chance that what he wrote just went over your head?
Harriet Wilson: I can tell the difference between miscommunication and provocation
Harriet Wilson: My home was vandalized.
Dan Towson: I’m not going to ruin some kid’s life because you come in here with some hunches.
Peter Edgar: Is my son being accused of a crime here?
Harriet Wilson: He sure as hell is about to be.
Peter Edgar: This woman’s just gotten through a mental breakdown!
Harriet Wilson: He’s lying, Dan!
Dan Towson: Harriet!
[referring to Harriet]
Amy Edgar: This woman has some kind of vendetta against Luce.
[referring to Harriet]
Amy Edgar: This woman decided to go after him on some witch hunt.
Amy Edgar: What happened with Miss Wislon?
Stephanie Kim: There were a lot of rumors.
Amy Edgar: Once you know something, you can’t unknow it.
Stephanie Kim: I want to know, no matter what.
Luce Edgar: It’s like I only get to be a saint or a monster.
Amy Edgar: Tell me the truth?!
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