LUV-BannerSheldon Candis’ LUV debuted at Sundance last year, featuring a career-defining performance from Common as the adult lead in this tense dramatic thriller.

The film spent last year on the festival circuit, coming to the UK for Sundance London – you can read our review here – which is where I saw it, and thought it was brilliant.

It’s finally about to arrive in theatres in the US, screening exclusively at AMC Theatres from next Friday. And with its release so close, the theatre chain have debuted a new, not-suitable-for-work featurette, giving us a look at the themes of betrayal and distrust that run through LUV.

“With his mother in rehab and his father out of the picture, young Woody Watson (Michael Rainey Jr.) lives with his grandmother (Lonette McKee) in suburban Baltimore and longs for his family to be reunited. His charismatic Uncle Vincent (Common) has recently returned home after eight years in prison, determined to straighten out his life by opening a high-end crab shack that will establish him as a solid citizen with a legitimate future.

One day, instead of dropping Woody off at school, Vincent decides to give the boy a tutorial on how a man gets things done. After a trip to a tailor to get Woody a custom-fitted suit, the pair heads to the bank to sign off on the loan Vincent needs to fulfill his dreams. But when his meeting with a bank officer puts the brakes on his plans, Vincent has no one to turn to for help but his former associates, including Baltimore crime boss Mr. Fish (Dennis Haysbert) and his brother Arthur (Danny Glover). A day that begins with a parking- lot driving lesson and Woody’s first oyster takes a desperate turn when Fish insists Vincent run one more drug deal to demonstrate his loyalty. Soon Vincent finds himself pulled back into the violent world he is trying to escape—and Woody has to decide whether to follow his hero…or become his own man.”

Michael Rainey, Jr. gives a very affecting performance as the young Woody, the child lead opposite Common, with fine support coming from Dennis Haysbert and Danny Glover.

Candis is directing from a script he co-wrote with Justin Wilson, who makes his feature debut as a writer, with Common himself serving as producer.

LUV will be released exclusively in AMC Theatres in the US next Friday, 18th January, and you can head here to find your nearest theatre. No word yet on a UK release, and I fear this will be one that we’ll be waiting for on DVD/Blu-ray, possibly via importing from the US. For now, here’s the latest featurette to give you a taste of what to expect. Enjoy.

And one final reminder, this featurette is NSFW.

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