Smooth Talk

Director: Joyce Chopra
Screenwriters: Tom Cole, Joyce Carol Oates

Institute History


It’s summer, a volatile summer, a time of shimmering heat and sudden, almost violent growth. Fifteen-year-old Connie Wyatt (Laura Dern), is suspended between her freshman and sophomore years like an evanescent grace note. It is time to explore, to move beyond the confines of home, of other, of childish things. She is learning to assert herself and take those first tentative steps into womanhood, to bloom and discover her own sensuality. The excitement and danger of adulthood comes to her in the form of Arnold Friend (Treat Williams), a dark figure from the other side of the tracks. “Triumphant . A fifteen-year-old girl’s hot, exuberant, half-frightened stirring of sexual excitement come to a mysterious frightening climax in this exquisitely sustained version of a Joyce Carol Oates short story.”

— Judy Stone, San Francisco Chronicle

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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