Little Black Lie
- 1h 59m
A woman tells her fiancé she was raped, setting him off on a desperate search for her attacker.A woman tells her fiancé she was raped, setting him off on a desperate search for her attacker.A woman tells her fiancé she was raped, setting him off on a desperate search for her attacker.
A great escape into other people's messy love lives.
Loved it. A thrilling sexual power fantasy and modern interpretation of the love triangle. In this incarnation, the lovers are not heroes, or even anti-heroes, but morally bankrupt villain protagonists, delightfully unpredictable as they take turns victimizing each other. Though we get to fall in love with them and get our hearts broken with each one's fall from grace. A somewhat unusual choice that could be jarring or controversial to viewers who are unwilling to engage with main characters whose values (or absence thereof) don't align with their own. The use of villain protagonists in my opinion serves the story well. Think Cruel Intentions, but less intentional and more impulsive -- perhaps it is this impulsivity that makes the tale so disturbing: the idea that split-second decisions (to lie, to cheat, etc.) made under duress (and neglected to be rectified) could render any of us villain protagonists. Leading lady Rachel, played by Stephanie Lynn, is beguiling in her role as a classic villainess: as the universally-reviled sort hated by both men and women alike for very different reasons. We don't seem to mind villain protagonists when they're men: American Psycho, There Will be Blood, Wolf of Wall Street, mob movies -- but women are featured this way much less frequently. I would argue this is an unlikely feminist film for that reason. Here we FINALLY have an onscreen characterization of a woman who isn't living for her men or putting their wellbeing ahead of her own. In fact, none of the principals in this movie follow any kind of golden rules. Writer/director Todd Theman stars as a masterful pickup artist who won't shake the schtick. Nick Ballard transcends his perma-composed Ken doll features in a convincing and dramatic 180. The friends, played by Casey O'Keefe, Scott Speiser, and Clayton LaDue (who seems impossibly real) ground the picturesque film in everyday reality, enhancing its impact. It could easily float into its own ruthless and beautiful world populated with attractive people and feel detached, but the performances of the supporting cast, including Swootie as Alicia (the dog) never let the viewer lose sight of what is at stake and make a lovely contrast of good in the background, evil in the fore. This is a film aficionado's film; an elegant and focused work of art. Esthetically the film is as indulgent as its main characters. Set to eerie music that builds dread in the viewer, Little Black Lie serves up expertly-cut sequences that leave a lasting impression while never seeming excessive. Think American Beauty. Everything is symbolic: the stunning love scene where the couple is bathed in white suggests an innocence to its illicit theme that mirrors every affair: so wrong and yet so right. This is a bold and gutsy picture with a timely condemnation for the very rare telling of a certain little black lie - if you remember not to get too attached to the character telling it. Highly recommend.
- Apr 22, 2020
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