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) whom she encounters at a drive-in. Smooth Talk won the Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize in 1986 and remains a carefully observed, shockingly powerful story of manipulation and deviance. A Janus Films release. An NYFF58 Currents selection. New 4K restoration undertaken by the Criterion Collection.

For in-theater screenings, please review the FLC in-theater safety and health policies here.

Watch our Q&A from the 58th New York Film Festival below.