The last year or so has been very good for Timothée Chalamet. He’s appeared in two Oscar-nominated films — Call Me By Your Name and Lady Bird. He got a Best Actor Oscar nom for the former, which would be a feat in itself, but he’s also the third-youngest actor to ever be nominated in the category. Now he’s set to continue his winning streak. The new Timothée Chalamet film is Hot Summer Nights, in which he plays a teenage pot dealer.
The film is from the acclaimed A24 studio, which also released Lady Bird and Moonlight among other critically lauded films. Chalamet plays Daniel, an awkward high schooler. It’s 1991, and Daniel’s spending a summer on Cape Cod. He’s unpopular and gawky. At first it looks like your standard teen coming-of-age film, but the catalyst is surprising.
When Hunter, a drug dealer played by Alex Roe, bursts into the convenience store where Daniel’s running the till and asks him to hide some marijuana, Daniel does, fooling the cop chasing Hunter. In thanks, Hunter gets Daniel high for the first time — and introduces him to the world of selling pot.
Daniel has a knack for it, but wants to branch out, so the high schooler starts his own drug cartel. Usually coming-of-age films are way less … criminal.
The film debuted at SXSW last year, and received generally positive notices. After the SXSW premiere, Michael Roffman of Consequence of Sound gave the film an A-, calling Hot Summer Nights “a brazen anti-coming-of-age thriller that oozes with all the right confidence, chutzpah, and passion.”
Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter was more reserved. He described filmmaker Elijah Bynum’s debut feature as having “much to appreciate but ultimately possesses the sampler-platter vibe of a director’s demo reel.” However, he adds, “his sophomore effort could hold considerable promise.”
Hot Summer Nights comes out July 27, 2018.