Smooth Talk

Smooth Talk

Directed by Joyce Chopra • 1985 • United States
Starring Laura Dern, Treat Williams, Mary Kay Place

Suspended between carefree youth and the harsh realities of the adult world, a teenage girl experiences an unsettling awakening in this haunting vision of innocence lost. Based on Joyce Carol Oates’s celebrated short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?,” the narrative debut from Joyce Chopra features a revelatory breakout performance by Laura Dern as Connie, the fifteen-year-old black sheep of her family, whose summertime idyll of beach trips, mall hangouts, and innocent flirtations is shattered by an encounter with a mysterious stranger (a memorably menacing Treat Williams). Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, SMOOTH TALK captures the thrill and terror of adolescent sexual exploration, and it transforms the conventions of a coming-of-age story into something altogether more troubling and profound.

Smooth Talk
  • Smooth Talk

    Directed by Joyce Chopra • 1985 • United States
    Starring Laura Dern, Treat Williams, Mary Kay Place

    Suspended between carefree youth and the harsh realities of the adult world, a teenage girl experiences an unsettling awakening in this haunting vision of innocence lost. Based on Joyce Carol Oate...

Extras

  • Joyce at 34

    Directed by Joyce Chopra and Claudia Weill • 1972 • United States
    Starring Joyce Chopra

    In feminist filmmaker Joyce Chopra’s JOYCE AT 34 (codirected with Claudia Weill, who would later direct the great unsung GIRLFRIENDS), Chopra examines the demands of juggling a baby and a professional career.

  • Girls at 12

    Made by Joyce Chopra in 1975 for the Education Development Center in Newton, Massachusetts, as part of the program The Role of Women in American Society, GIRLS AT 12 looks at the lives of three girls growing up near Boston in order to show the complexities of becoming a teenager in the midseventi...

  • Clorae and Albie

    Made by Joyce Chopra in 1976 for the Education Development Center in Newton, Massachusetts, as part of the program The Role of Women in American Society, CLORAE AND ALBIE focuses on two young Black women who have been best friends since childhood but whose lives are taking different paths.

  • Joyce Chopra on SMOOTH TALK, 2020

    This interview with director Joyce Chopra was recorded in 2020.

  • Joyce Chopra on SMOOTH TALK, 1985

    This audio interview with director Joyce Chopra aired on radio station KPFK in 1985.

  • The Women of SMOOTH TALK

    On September 24, 2020, Film at Lincoln Center hosted a discussion with director Joyce Chopra, author Joyce Carol Oates, and actor Laura Dern, which was moderated by TCM host Alicia Malone as part of the 58th New York Film Festival’s premiere of the restoration of Smooth Talk. Presented here is th...

  • Joyce Chopra, Mary Kay Place, and Treat Williams on SMOOTH TALK

    In November 2020, director Joyce Chopra reunited with actors Mary Kay Place and Treat Williams for conversations moderated by TCM host Alicia Malone.

  • David Wasco on SMOOTH TALK

    In October 2020, Criterion spoke with production designer David Wasco about his work on Joyce Chopra’s SMOOTH TALK.

  • SMOOTH TALK Original Trailer

    Directed by Joyce Chopra • 1985 • United States
    Starring Laura Dern, Treat Williams, Mary Kay Place

    Suspended between carefree youth and the harsh realities of the adult world, a teenage girl experiences an unsettling awakening in this haunting vision of innocence lost. Based on Joyce Carol Oate...

  • SMOOTH TALK Trailer

    Directed by Joyce Chopra • 1985 • United States
    Starring Laura Dern, Treat Williams, Mary Kay Place

    Suspended between carefree youth and the harsh realities of the adult world, a teenage girl experiences an unsettling awakening in this haunting vision of innocence lost. Based on Joyce Carol Oate...