The Movie: 8.5/10
I really enjoyed The Good Lie. Never mind the tears streaming down my face most of the time, those were just leakage unrelated to the emotional impact of some realities of human existence. Yes, reality is not what you are looking for in a movie, fair enough. All movies are a misrepresentation of the truth, that’s just how it is. So, why did this movie dig so deep into my well of often hidden compassion? It’s the intangible thing some films bring to a story. The performances of everyone played a role, of course. The lead actors were all actually either children of refugee camps in Africa, or related to someone who was a refugee. I’m not saying it’s perfect, don’t get snotty about the nuances of each performance. If you do, well, you are heartless. I got sucked into the plight of these characters, and their real life counterparts, so the tears came.
I am not a huge Reese Witherspoon fan, but she was fine this time around. I was impressed with her ability to tone it all down, not steal the shot every time she hit the screen. That does take some skill and humility, so I appreciated that. In this movie the story of the children left behind by war needs to be the star, not THE HOLLYWOOD STAR.
The look of the whole movie is engulfing. The camera work isn’t fancy or full of trickery, it’s just straight up beautiful shots of the backdrops of Africa and Kansas City, Mo. Yes, Kansas City, Missouri.
I have this problem with movies I really like, I don’t want to say much about them. It’s a thing I just can’t seem to overcome no matter how many reviews I write. It’s like this, the movie is the movie. It entertained me, made me cry, made me think, brought issues of this real world into my consciousness, and even now days later I’m thinking of the quality and impact of it. That kind of says it all really.
If I go on and on, like to say the music is excellent, which is it, I would just be saying more good stuff and that would be boring. You should be watching it, not reading this.
Conclusion, The Good Lie is a fantastic movie to get you thinking and maybe open up those tear ducts.
- The Good Life Journey (16 Minutes) – A short featurette on the making of the film, it covers the cast, the decision to film in Africa and even features a short interview with Ron Howard who was producer on the movie.
- Deleted Scenes (15 Minutes) – Quite a few subplots were removed from the film and they are featured here, it’s quite clear why they were cut but interesting to see nonetheless.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 3/10
Ick. That picture of Reese Witherspoon is horrible, boring, fake and is COMPLETELY misrepresenting the story. I would not have it as a poster. The menu is a menu.
Audio & Video: /10
The Good Lie is presented in 1080P 1.85:1 Widescreen using the AVC codec. As with most modern releases from Warner it looks exceptionally good and fine detail is very impressive. The opening scenes in Africa are especially impressive using the full frame of your screen to show off the impressive vistas. Black levels are good and I saw no sign of noise, edge enhancement or macro blocking.
DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio is used here and is impressive for a small talky movie. Near the start of the film where the camp is attacked the sound of the helicopter and gunfire can be heard in every corner of the room its impressive stuff right out of a big budget action movie. When things get talky dialog is anchored to the center speaker and nothing gets lost in the sound mix.
Overall Score 8.5/10