Richard Linklater‘s newest film, Last Flag Flying, is set to open the 2017 New York Film Festival on Thursday, September 28. The prestigious honour has previously been occupied by such films as 13th, Gone Girl and Captain Phillips, and is usually an indicator that the studio, in this case Amazon, is gearing up for a strong awards push.
The film is a step away from Linklater’s last outing, the hangout, happy-go-lucky Everybody Wants Some!!!, and is actually a quasi-sequel to Hal Ashby‘s 1973 film The Last Detail. It stars Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne and Steve Carell as a trio of Vietnam veterans mourning the loss of Carell’s character’s son in the early days of the Iraq war.
The synopsis from the presenters of the festival, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, is as follows:
“In Richard Linklater’s lyrical road movie, as funny as it is heartbreaking, three ageing Vietnam-era Navy vets — soft-spoken Doc (Carell), unhinged and unfiltered Sal (Cranston), and quietly measured Mueller (Fishburne) — reunite to perform a sacred task: the proper burial of Doc’s only child, who has been killed in the early days of the Iraqi Invasion.
As this trio of old friends makes its way up the Eastern seaboard, Linklater gives us a rich rendering of friendship, a grand mosaic of common life in the USA during the Bush era, and a striking meditation on the passage of time and the nature of truth. To put it simply, Last Flag Flying is a great movie from one of America’s finest filmmakers”.
Linklater has always been able to alter his approach and create vastly different works within his oeuvre, and this sounds like another interesting direction for him to go in. He’s always been adept at crafting films with a true beating heart, though usually without as much thematic weight as this. Let’s hope he can pull it off.
After the film opens the festival, it will go on to open wide in cinemas Friday, November 17.