Richard Linklater’s LAST FLAG FLYING has landed the coveted opening night spot at the 55th annual New York Film Festival. The Amazon Studios film is an unofficial sequel to the 1973 Academy Award-nominated Hal Ashby pic The Last Detail starring Jack Nicholson and Randy Quaid.
The original film followed a group of Navy officers who are ordered to bring a young offender to prison but before doing that, they decide to show him one last good time. Linklater’s film stars Steve Carell as Doc, a soft-spoken vet whose only child has been killed in the early days of the Iraqi invasion. Bryan Cranston plays volatile Sal, while Laurence Fishburne plays a vet named Mueller. Together the friends go on a road trip up the Eastern Seaboard.
The New York Festival runs September 28 through October 15 with Last Flag Flying to kick it all off on the 28th. The festival is known for being a hotbed for Oscar bait. Films such as Gone Girl, The Social Network, and last year’s 13th from Ava DuVernay bowed at the fest and went on to be favorites for awards season.
Linklater isn’t a stranger to awards season. Before Sunset, the first installment of his iconic stranger-on-the-train romantic trilogy, earned him a nod for screenplay in 2005 and the nomination was repeated again with his 2013 bookend Before Midnight. His three-hour coming-of-age opus Boybood earned three nominations in 2014 including Best Picture. Based on the prestige of the festival, Linklater’s Academy Award trajectory, and the cast of the film, Last Flag Flying is posed to be an awards season contender.
Dino-Ray Ramos | Staff Writer