Little White Lies is a beautifully executed film about the delicate balance between life and death and the issues that are most important to us all.
In Little White Lies, a nearly tragic incident makes a group of friends question whether they should embark on their annual vacation. They end up going anyway, only to discover that their time away brings each others' issues roaring to the surface.
Director Guillaume Canet , one of the best younger filmmakers working today (if you haven't seen Tell No One, stop reading this review and watch that movie now), has created a complex web of stories that weave organically with each other. Without a doubt one of the longest friendship dramedies I've ever seen (the runtime is over two-and-a-half hours), some of the movie's storylines work better than others. However, each one is crafted with such heart and attention to detail that I found myself smiling throughout.
The best story arc is the one that revolves around Max and Vincent. Long time friends, Vincent, shortly before they all leave for vacation, tells Max that he loves him and not just as friends. Max, who is not gay and like Vincent is married, does not take it well, setting into motion an awkward, humorous and poignant journey for the two characters.
Little White Lies is also full of stand-out performances - Marion Cotillard, Francois Cluzet, Jean Dujardin, Gilles Lellouche, Benoit Magimel and the rest of the cast are all outstanding. Cluzet and Magimel steal the show as Max and Vincent.
Little White Lies is in no way a perfect film - it seems at times that Canet bites off more story than he can chew. There are certainly some hanging threads left undeveloped while others are given too much screen time. More focus on the key stories - namely the relationships between Maria and Ludo and Max and Vincent - and less on the others would have made the film tighter and more satisfying.
But the film is an expression of life and highs and lows that everyone encounters, so in some ways it seems fitting that each friend must deal with his or her own issues in addition to the group's. Life is not perfect, therefore neither is the narrative. One of the must-sees so far this year, Little White Lies is a good movie with many superb moments.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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