The Night Listener

Institute History

  • 2006 Sundance Film Festival


Gabriel is a celebrated writer and popular late-night radio host. On the air waves across America, he is famous for sharing the many stories of his life, both true and embellished. When a manuscript from a troubled young listener finds its way onto his desk and into his psyche, he is rustled out of his New York brownstone and safe neighborhood. He embarks upon a journey that comes to test the very threshold of his own empathy. Gabriel states, "I will lay the events out exactly like I remember them"; thus begins the story of The Night Listener.

Director and cowriter Patrick Stettner returns to Sundance (The Business of Strangers played in the 2001 Festival) and once again ventures into the darker side of human relationships. Adapted from the novel by Armistead Maupin, The Night Listener is a psychological thriller exploring uncharted territories of the bizarre and macabre. As Gabriel, Robin Williams contributes a wonderfully subdued performance, but meets his match in Toni Collette, who portrays the young boy's adopted guardian.

With an eerie atmosphere that borders on the creepy, desolate, wintry Wisconsin becomes the locale for a tale that may rattle you to your soul. In The Night Listener, when deception is what you desire, the line between truth and fiction begins to blur.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

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