Master Class: Laura Dern


Film Info
Section:Behind the Screens


Laura Dern is having an incredible year. It’s a standout in a career marked by remarkable performances, from her indelible beginnings in Marin-based Smooth Talk (MVFF 1985) to her 2014 Oscar®-nominated role in Wild (MVFF Award 2014). Along the way are unforgettable moments: Being chased by dinosaurs (Jurassic Park) to hearing things (Blue Velvet) to the inimitable Admiral Hondo—pow!—in The Last Jedi. In this onstage conversation, Dern delves into her art as an actor, looking particularly at her most recent works. This year has seen: A reprise of her role as the deliciously intense, crazy-protective mom and tech honcho Renata Klein on Big Little Lies, a role which already won her both an Emmy® and a Golden Globe®; the compassionate but tough divorce lawyer in Noah Baumbach’s sublime Marriage Story; and the ultimate mother of daughters, Marmee, in Greta Gerwig’s Little Women.

What’s notable in all these roles is that Dern has become the master (should that be mistress?) of supporting roles—not just in awards jargon sense, but as an actor at the top of her game who delivers rich performances that demonstrate why she is such a revered and beloved actor: What shines through her work is not just her sheer mastery of the art and craft of acting, but the depth of the connection she makes with her fellow actors. She understands how to support.

The program will include the presentation of the Mind the Gap Award for Actor of the Year.

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