Art and Experience: The last time Richard Linklater was in theaters was for his “Dazed and Confused” spiritual sequel “Everybody Wants Some!!” When the indie auteur returns this fall, it’ll be with an official sequel to a Hal Ashby classic. Linklater is adapting Darryl Ponicsan’s 2005 novel “Last Flag Flying,” a sequel to his 1970 novel “The Last Detail,” which was the basis for Hal Ashby’s film starring Jack Nicholson. The actor earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, and the role could do the same for Bryan Cranston this year.
The Emmy winner is playing an older version of Nicholson’s Billy L. Buddusky, and he’s joined by Steve Carrell and Laurence Fishburne in supporting performances. The three play Vietnam veterans who reunite for the proper burial of one of their sons, who has been killed in the early days of the Iraqi invasion. “Last Flag Flying” is opening the New York Film Festival before opening in select theaters November 3.
Linklater’s “Everybody Wants Some!!” skipped awards season, but his 2014 magnum opus “Boyhood” was a major contender at the 87th Academy Awards, earning nominations for Best Picture and Best Director, among four others. Linklater lost to “Birdman” in both categories. “Last Flag Flying” marks the director’s return to the awards race, and early word is that Cranston gives one of his best movie performances to date.