In her first lead role, 18-year-old Laura Dern gave one of her most stirring, layered performances in an adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’s 1966 short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” She stars as Connie Wyatt, a teenager who spends her summer days moping around the house and exploring her sexuality in the Northern California suburbs. But the thrills and innocence of youth are forever shaded by the predatory behavior of an older man named Arnold Friend (Treat Williams) she encounters at a drive-in. Smooth Talk won the Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize in 1996 and remains a carefully observed, shockingly powerful story of manipulation and deviancy.
Part of a daylong celebration of Laura Dern’s ongoing contribution to the history of screen acting. On December 14 at 8:00 p.m., Dern joins us for an onstage discussion spanning her illustrious career, with a focus on her recent triumphs on the big and small screen (Certain Women, Wilson, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Big Little Lies, Twin Peaks: The Return). Get tickets for the conversation.