Ben Is Back


Sequoia 1 Fri, Oct 12, 2018 6:00 PM
Film Info
Category:Mind the Gap
Section:US Cinema
Running Time:103 min.
Director:Peter Hedges
Producer:Peter Hedges
Screenwriter:Nina Jacobson
Brad Simpson
Teddy Schwarzman
Peter Hedges
Cinematographer:Stuart Dryburgh
Editor:Ian Blume
Cast:Julia Roberts
Lucas Hedges
Courtney B. Vance
Kathryn Newton
Print Source:Roadside Attractions


Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges command the screen in this riveting new film from Oscar®-nominated writer-director Peter Hedges (Dan in Real Life). As Holly Burns (Roberts) drives home with her children from a Christmas pageant recital, she’s moved to tears at the sight of her eldest child, Ben (Hedges), standing in their driveway. It’s the Christmas present she’s been hoping for, but the return of her prodigal son from his sober living home is met with concern from both her teenage daughter Ivy (Kathryn Newton) and her new husband Neal (Courtney B. Vance). Ben’s unexpected appearance isn’t what it appears to be, which could also be said of the film itself. Unlike his excellent Pieces of April, Hedges isn’t interested in a straight family holiday drama, layering Ben Is Back with its share of surprises and suspense. Lucas Hedges, the director’s own son, continues his streak of stellar performances following Lady Bird (MVFF 2017) and Boy Erased (MVFF 2018), and he’s perfectly matched by a sensational Julia Roberts in her best role in years.

Expected Guest: Director Peter Hedges (Oct. 12)

Additional Information

Peter Hedges’ first novel What’s Eating Gilbert Grape was the basis for the 1993 film, which he adapted for the screen. His other screenplays include About a Boy (which garnered him an Academy Award® nomination) and A Map of the World. He wrote and directed Pieces of April, Dan in Real Life, and The Odd Life of Timothy Green. Peter is married to the poet Susan Bruce. They live in Brooklyn, NY.