Teenagers love to rebel. When your parents want you home by a certain time, you stay out later. When they want you to dress a certain way, you do the opposite. And for 15-year-old Connie in “Smooth Talk,” that seemingly innocent rebellion takes a dark turn.
Debuting in 1985, “Smooth Talk” would go on to win the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and would help a young Laura Dern, a year before “Blue Velvet,” breakthrough in the lead role as a teen girl looking to explore her sexuality and independence. And in honor of “Smooth Talk” getting a re-release and 4K restoration, we’re thrilled to offer our readers an exclusive look at the new trailer for the drama.
“Smooth Talk” stars Laura Dern, Treat Williams, Mary Kay Place, Margaret Welsh, Sarah Inglis, Levon Helm, and Elizabeth Berridge. The film marked the narrative directorial debut for Joyce Chopra, who was probably best known for her docs at that point. She would go on to direct “The Lemon Sisters” in 1990 and then a string of TV films after.
The 4K restoration of “Smooth Talk” was undertaken by the Criterion Collection and premiered recently at the New York Film Festival. If you weren’t able to check it out at NYFF, you’ll get a chance to watch “Smooth Talk” when it begins its theatrical rollout on November 6.
Here’s the synopsis:
Suspended between carefree youth and the harsh realities of the adult world, a teenage girl experiences an unsettling awakening in this haunting vision of innocence lost. Loosely based on Joyce Carol Oates’ celebrated short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” and produced for PBS’ American Playhouse, the narrative debut from director Joyce Chopra features a revelatory breakout performance from Laura Dern as Connie, the fifteen-year-old black sheep of her family whose summertime idyll of beach trips, mall hangouts, and innocent flirtations is shattered by an encounter with a mysterious stranger (a memorably menacing Treat Williams). Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, SMOOTH TALK captures the thrill and terror of adolescent sexual exploration as it transforms the ingredients of a standard coming of age portrait into something altogether more troubling and profound.