Thursday, May 26, 2011
Little White Lies: Les Petits Mouchoirs that we all tell, and told well here
Little White Lies is written and directed by Guillaume Canet (my French crush) and he does a good job with the subject matter and actors.
Little White Lies isn't flashy. It's a film about friendship, and the lies we tell one another and to ourselves, either to protect others, or to protect ourselves from embarrassment. The group, lead by Marion Cotillard's Marie (my 2nd French crush) are tight, and each year they travel to Max's (François Cluzet) posh beach house where they drink a lot of wine (a lot. They are in France after all!), and talk smack to each other, get on one another's nerves, laugh and eat. This year, things are slightly different, right before their trip, their friend, Ludo, (Jean Dujardin) is seriously injured in a scooter accident. Despite his injuries, the group decide to go on vacation without him (without saying it, they are in deep denial about how seriously injured Ludo is) and it's there that some "lies" are exposed.
The film is funny in all the right spots. The humor comes from genuine character's connecting with one another, and the tragic/dramatic moments are truthful. I really enjoyed the film, and could relate to parts of it (I think we can all see a bit of ourselves or our friends within some of the characters from time to time). The film clocks in at two and half hours is a bit on the long side, but doesn't feel too long. I only thought about the time once while watching. Perhaps, with a bit more editing this movie could have been excellent instead of great. A minor difference.
I will mention that the opening sequence is one of the best shot scenes that I've seen in a long time. The way Canet uses the camera in the long take without breaking away produces tension and expectation that sucks us into this world. I also want to mention the soundtrack. It's all in English and relies heavily on the "oldies". It seems like an odd choice, but I really liked it.
These are a group of friends that are fun and flawed and boorish and piggish, and insecure and lovable. They might be your own friends, or friends you never want to have. But spending a summer vacation with them is worth the journey.