Friendship ring of truth
REVIEW LITTLE WHITE LIES ( MA15+, subtitles) ★★★ Director: Guillaume Canet ( Tell No One) Stars: Marion Cotillard, Francois Cluzet, Benoit Magimel, Gilles Lellouche Time for some holiday home-truths
THE definitive friends-reuniting-onholiday movie will always be the 1983 classic The Big Chill.
This plushly appointed French ensemble drama is very much cut from the same cloth, right down to a surfeit of classic-hits music interludes.
Nevertheless, Little White Lies is an easy-to-watch confection, even when you factor in its rather daunting 154-minute duration.
Writer-director Guillaume Canet, who landed a global arthouse hit a few years ago with the excellent Tell No One, steers his quality cast towards an annual vacation at the picturesque seaside region of Cap-Ferret.
This tight-knit group of friends take their leisure time seriously. Not even a recent horrific road accident sustained by one of their most popular members is enough to postpone the big occasion.
The first half of Little White Lies ambles along in a pleasantly perfunctory manner, giving us everything we need to know about the key characters before breezy events take a darker turn.
Before we reach a torrid ( if drawnout) final act, Canet’s tale putters along in a less-than-urgent but very likeable manner.
Scenes are divided in a democratic fashion to give all performers a chance to strut their stuff.
Marion Cotillard ( Inception, inset) is a standout as Marie, a commitment-phobe who has reached the end of her tether with the one-night-stand lifestyle.
Francois Cluzet also achieves a lasting impact as Max, a stress-ridden restaurateur struggling to cope with the news his longtime buddy Vincent ( Benoit Magimel) has a huge mancrush on him.
While Little White Lies is not the most original film to hail from France in recent times, there is an ease and confidence to its staging that is hard to resist.