'The Good Lie' (Blu-ray + DVD)
(Reese Witherspoon, Corey Stoll, Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal, et al / Blu ray + DVD / PG-13 / 2014 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: Sudanese refugees given the chance to resettle in America arrive in Kansas City, Missouri. where their encounter with an employment agency counselor forever changes all of their lives.
Blu ray Verdict: What a lovely movie 'A Good Lie' really is! A perfect movie to see and enjoy with your family, far from all the Sci-Fi and Apocalyptic movies we get to see these days. Yes, it has a cheesy side, but only because we have become so accustomed at negating lovely acts, that when something is touching, it's automatically labeled cheesy.
For those who didn't know much about what happened in Sudan many years ago, it may not be a movie that will really teach you anything you would not have guessed. The real deal is that the movie somehow wakes you up a bit, and tells you how lucky you are. Yes, we know that, but we forget quickly until we come across movies such as this one.
The lives of the children of Sudan are fraught with dangers and horrors - before the age of twelve, they endure war, famine, death and deprivation, with only the faint prospect of leaving their country to start afresh somewhere new. Mamere (Arnold Oceng), with his sister Abital (Kuoth Wiel) and brothers-in-arms Jeremiah (Ger Duany) and Paul (Emmanuel Jal), gets that chance - but only after losing too much of his innocence and blood to a battle he should never have had to fight. The promise of a new home and freedom, however, come neither freely nor easily. Mamere is helpless to prevent the bureaucracy of the system from taking his sister to another state in America, and culture shock lingers in every corner and around every turn.
It's easy to see why Falardeau was asked to make his English-language debut with The Good Lie. His previous effort, the bittersweet Monsieur Lazhar, dealt impressively with issues of displacement, loss and identity, and won him an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in the process. Falardeau displays the same sensitivity with the quartet at the heart of his latest film, giving each character a personality and heart beyond the labels and paperwork more easily affixed to them. He understands the irony facing these young men: the notion that they've lived through guns and hunger, only to be flummoxed by bureaucrats and capitalism.
The film could easily have tipped over into a self-congratulatory farce, painting Carrie Davis (Witherspoon) - the boys' employment agent - as the pretty white-girl saviour of these savages from the third world. But Falardeau instead teases out the myriad ways in which their new lives are better, but also possibly worse than, what they left behind. He finds these tragic contradictions in the wide-eyed manner in which they respond to their new homeland: the way Jeremiah revolts at the casual, easy wastage of produce in the supermarket where he stocks the shelves, and the manner in which these boys simply cannot believe that Carrie is genuinely taking care of herself with neither father, husband, brother nor son on hand.
And so, summing up, Reese Witherspoon gets involved with these Lost Boys from Sudan when they arrive to the United States fresh from 13 years in a refugee camp. She helps them find jobs and understand America. They help her define her values and find a purpose. This is a film you HAVE to watch, and soon. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of: