Palisadian Laura Dern (“Twin Peaks,” “Jurassic Park”) will be honored at the 62nd annual San Francisco International Film Festival alongside fellow actors Laura Linney and John C. Reilly, and director Claire Denis. The festival runs April 10 to 19 at venues throughout the city.
Dern is accompanying her 2018 film “Trial by Fire,” a true-life drama directed by Edward Zwick (“Blood Diamond”) about a death row inmate, Cameron Todd Wilingham (Jack O’Connell), who was executed in Texas in 2004 for lighting a fire that killed his three children, despite expert testimony and scientific evidence corroborating his innocence.
Dern plays Elizabeth Gilbert, a school teacher and poet who got to know Wilingham as pen pals when he was on death row.
Based on the 2009 David Grann New Yorker article of the same title and adapted by Oscar-winning screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher, “Trial by Fire” is a harrowing glimpse into the life of one condemned, of his gradual destruction, and of the impotency of the do-gooders around him to stop it.
Dern, who walked onto the Oscars stage last month to the “Jurassic Park” theme music, will return to her star role as powerful, career-driven mom Renata Klein on season 2 of the hit HBO series “Big Little Lies” premiering in June.
Dern’s performance earned her the 2017 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series, with the series itself taking home eight Emmys in total, including the award for Outstanding Limited Series.
“Big Little Lies” currently holds an 8.7/10 rating on IMDB and a 93 percent average on Rotten Tomatoes. It stars former Palisadians Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, along with Meryl Streep, Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz and Alexander Skarsgård.
The show’s second season will reportedly be darker and more subversive than its first season (though the bar is set high).
Dern also wrapped production last year on the upcoming “Little Women” directed by Greta Gerwig, in which she plays Margaret “Marmee” March, the mother of the March household.
The star-studded film also features Florence Pugh as Amy March, Saoirse Roanan as Jo March, Timothée Chalamet as Theodore “Laurie” Laurence, Emma Watson as Meg March and Meryl Streep as Aunt March.