Film Review – The Good Lie (2014)

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Title – The Good Lie (2014)

Director – Philippe Falardeau (It’s Not Me, I Swear!)

Cast – Reese Witherspoon, Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal, Kuoth Wiel, Corey Stoll

Plot – A group of Sudanese refugees known as The Lost Boys of Sudan are transported to America in hope of a better life. Led by kindly Mamere (Oceng) the group are supported on their arrival to America by job provider Carrie (Witherspoon) who slowly starts to realise just what trials these young people have overcome in their war torn birth nation.

 “It is a sin not to give to those in need”

Review by Eddie on 6/10/2015

While its very much cut from the same cloth as films like The Blind Side and its story reeks of Hollywood sap, you’d be hard pressed to not find enjoyment in this based around real life stories The Good Lie, a film that more than likely bypassed cinemas near you upon release last year and failed to find an audience in any capacity.

Produced by the Academy Award winning team of Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, The Good Lie certainly has pedigree behind it and with the true story of The Lost Boys Of Sudan as its base, it’s hard to know exactly why the film failed so dismally when it was rolled out towards the later end of last year.

Reviewed well and rated highly by audiences, one suspects that The Good Lie has the potential to be a slowly building sleeper hit in the years to come and with a tale so easy to like as this, it will be a film that brings both smiles and tears to many different people the world over even though its somewhat twee handling can hamper the films emotional engagement and some scripting scenario/acting turns dampen the films overall quality.

The biggest success found within the Good Lie lays entirely on how central group of uprooted refugees led by Arnold Oceng’s determined Mamere and Ger Duany’s God fearing Jerimiah adapt to life in the land of opportunity in America. There’s simple joys to be found in the sincere questioning these kind hearted souls ask and director Philippe Falardeau does a great job of handling his largely unknown cast in the way in which this is portrayed. The top billing of Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon is a little bit of marketing ploy here as a warning as she is largely a bit part player to the Sudanese squad and her role is a little too much “Sandra Bullock” to really work.

An enjoyable, often funny and occasionally moving tale with call backs to real life trials over adversity, The Good Lie never becomes anything akin to other classic such tales but it’s certainly a film worth tracking down. A quality production that deserved more credit than it ever got upon release, The Good Lie is just the type of Hollywood ilk that we need more of.

3 1/2 McDonalds trips out of 5

9 responses to “Film Review – The Good Lie (2014)

  1. Hi Eddie – This is one I’ve had on the back burner for a while now, as it does look a little too much like The Blind Side, and I wasn’t sure if it would turn out to be as self-congratulatory as that movie was with its white woman taking charge approach, but your review has helped it up the list – good one as usual!

    • Yeh it was really enjoyable mate, particularly a very strong opening act. I was surprised actually how little Reese was used and the main actors had a lot more to do.

  2. This film had personal meaning to me as I worked with the Lost Boys when I was in college. It brought back many happy memories of helping them adjust to life in America. They had been through so much but were so positive. I felt this movie really captured that and they got small details right. Like my friend was with the Lost Boys and they were afraid a lion might be in the park.

    But even putting the personal connection aside (which is hard to do) I found it inspiring with good performances.

  3. I ignored this movie because the advertising turned me off. I thought Reese Witherspoon, who I do sometimes like, would be the focus of the film as well as what she did for these refugees. I tuned in when it was on HBO and of course found that she wasn’t as prominent in the film as I’d thought and the movie really made me smile.

  4. It doesn’t ever try to preach, which is why it works most. Especially considering that it’s actually pretty sweet. Nice review Eddie.

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