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An official trailer for Ben Is Back debuted on Thursday.
Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges star in the Peter Hedges-directed film. Peter Hedges, who is the father of Lucas, also penned the script. Kathryn Newton, Alexandra Park, Courtney B. Vance, Rachel Bay Jones and Michael Esper make up the supporting cast.
Ben Is Back follows 19-year-old Ben Burns (Lucas Hedges), who unexpectedly returns to his hometown on the morning of Christmas Eve. Holly (Roberts), Ben’s mother, is relieved that he is back home but worries that his visit will have a negative impact on his sobriety. Over the 24 hours leading to Christmas Day, new revelations about Ben come out as Holly’s undying love for her son is tested and she tries to protect him.
The trailer opens with Holly running up to Ben and embracing him. “Oh my God, I can’t believe it,” she says, clearly surprised by his arrival.
Holly notes that Ben has gained weight and has “the sparkle back in his eyes,” which alludes to the fact that he previously went through a difficult time. “He’s clearly doing better,” she tells her daughter, Ivy (Newton), as she clears out the drugs in the family’s bathroom.
“You get a day. This time tomorrow you are back in Sober Living,” Holly tells Ben about his visit. “You do not leave my sight ever because for the next 24 hours, you are mine. All mine. Got it?”
Another scene shows Ben running into an old friend at the mall, who exclaims that he thought he was dead. Ben soon makes eye contact with a man who is presumably linked to his drug-dealing past before the trailer cuts to another scene of a window shattering in the car Ben and Holly are sitting in.
Ben is soon forced to confront his past. “You go in, pay the man and then come right back out,” Holly instructs as she and Ben sit in their car outside a house, which likely belongs to his former drug supplier, Clayton (Esper). She tries to remain calm as Ben enters the house with cash.
“You need to go home. If you really knew me, you’d be done with me,” Ben later tells Holly. She responds, “I know you.” As she inches closer to Ben, he pushes her away and reiterates, “You don’t know me.”
Holly continues to struggle to understand her son throughout the trailer. Ben eventually runs away from the house and is later seen working with Clayton, who says that Ben owes him one more favor. Ben quickly reenters the dangerous world of drugs.
While Holly begins a mission to bring Ben back home, Ivy is seen crying as she states that she knows something is wrong. When Neal (Vance), Holly’s husband, calls and tells her that she needs to come home, she responds, “Not without Ben.”
In a later scene, Holly grabs Ben’s face and asks, “Just tell me, son, where you want me to bury you.”
A quick montage that features happier moments from the visit is featured before Ben and Holly are seen attending a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. “Anyways, here I am. Still here. So thank you,” he says.
Ben Is Back premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. The film will hit select theaters on Dec. 7.
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