It’s been 17 years since Julia Roberts won an Oscar for her work in Erin Brockovich, and though she was nominated back in 2014 for August: Osage County (Remember that? We don’t!), we have to imagine the itch to win is still there. Enter Peter Hedges’ Ben is Back, which positions Roberts as a mother trying to save her kid from the depths of drug addiction, and seemed like a great role at the time, probably. We’d already be asleep if it weren’t for the presence of Hedges’ son, Lucas, who just so happens to be one of the best actors of his generation.
Anyways, it premiered to some mediocre reviews at TIFF this year, and we missed it there, given that we had two other Lucas Hedges performances to watch in Mid90s and Boy Erased, and another (and probably better) drug addiction drama in Beautiful Boy. So, Roadside Attractions dropped a trailer on Thursday let us know what we missed and, well, we’re glad we spent our time elsewhere.
So, that doesn’t look too promising. One kind of longs for the days in which movies like this were reserved for Saturday night CBS viewing and then weren’t seen again until they were assigned to the D.A.R.E. curriculum, where they helped to scare prospective marijuananauts away from trying the drugs until they successfully moved out of state for college. Still, we are always down to watch Lucas Hedges work, and we’re really excited that Courtney B. Vance is in this for obvious reasons.
Here’s a synopsis:
“19 year-old Ben Burns (Lucas Hedges) unexpectedly returns home to his family’s suburban home on Christmas Eve morning. Ben’s mother, Holly (Julia Roberts), is relieved and welcoming but wary of her son staying clean. Over a turbulent 24 hours, new truths are revealed, and a mother’s undying love for her son is tested as she does everything in her power to keep him safe. ‘Ben is Back’ also stars Courtney B. Vance (‘The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story’) and Kathryn Newton (‘Lady Bird’).”