Review: Little White Lies

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After the success of his previous film, Tell No One, Guillame Canet is back with Little White Lies (or Les Petits Mouchirs in its native tongue), a story about a group of middle class Parisians who decide to go on holiday after their friend is hurt in a serious accident.

With a run time of 2 ½ hours, Little White Lies is not a breezy film. Part comedy, part drama, it looks at the lives of several characters and the truths, half truths and lies they tell each other.

It all starts with a wonderfully tracking shot of Ludo (Jean Dujardin) partying in a club, leaving and being involved in a road accident. As he was due to go on holiday with his close friends, this leaves them in a quandary – do they go on holiday or stay home and support Ludo? They leave and instead of leaving their problems behind they bring them along.

Every year Max (Francois Cluzet) invites his friends Marie (Marion Cotillard), Vincent (Benoit Magimel), Eric (Gilles Lelouche), Antoine (Laurent Lafitte) to his holiday house. Before they leave Vincent admits that he has feelings for Max; Eric is having relationship troubles with his girlfriend (Juliette), Antoine is trying to reignite an old relationship and Marie is a free spirit, flittering from one man (or woman) to the next, but evading any relationship that involves emotional intimacy.

With so many characters to service, the length gives Canet time to set up his characters, hand out a decent storyline and resolve it in a satisfactory manner by the film’s end. The length is rather indulgent and the film cannot avoid the criticism of if being ‘another film about the troubles of the white middle class’.

Nonetheless, despite their affluent surroundings the characters are engaging and fun to watch, whether they’re having hissy fits or reminiscing of times past.

The film goes off the rails when it overdoses on sentimentality. It’s very excessive with characters bawling all over the place and a man pouring sand all done to a French rendition of ‘My Way’. Overblown and overwrought, perhaps it’ll loosen he tearducts of some.

Despite that, Little White Lies is a cracking French film filled with laughs, sadness and some beautiful photography of France.

8/10

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Posted on 21/04/2011, in Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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