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Directed by Michael Cuesta
Produced in 2002
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - American film
L.I.E. is the coming of age story of a boy who must quickly develop resiliency to cope with the loss of the things closest to him. It is a tender and thoughtful, often funny, examination of the lives of suburban teens who are without guidance or adult role models and who must develop inner strength simply in order to survive.
Howie, his friend Gary, and a few others have been robbing the expensive houses of their Long Island neighbors. One of their escapades takes them to the house of Big John Harrigan (brilliantly performed by Scottish actor Brian Cox), a macho ex-marine well known in the neighborhood as an individual with a predilection for sex with young men. Howie and Big John develop a relationship that provides Howie with the substitute father figure he so desperately needs. In portraying Big John, first time director, Michael Cuesta resists moralizing and courageously defies stereotyping.
Paul Franklin Dano as Howie completely captures the confusion and neediness of a lonely teen trying to discover who he is. Howie comes alive as an immature, lonely, and sexually confused teen, yet a sensitive and intelligent individual who writes poetry to give voice to his loneliness. It is uncertain until the end whether Howie will succumb to the forces closing in on him or develop the inner strength to cope with his loss. L.I.E. is a film that should be seen by both teenagers and their parents.
The tale of Howie, a fifteen year-old New Jersey native living near the Long Island Expressway, who finds himself as his life falls apart around him. When his mother dies and his father gets busted by the FBI he finds himself alone and relying increasingly on his delinquent friends. In need of a father figure, he comes across the mysterious ex-marine Big John. Winner of a number of international awards.
Publisher: Tartan Video
Length: 95 mins
Aspect ratio: Widescreen
Cat No: TVD3403
Format: DVD Colour
- Commentary by Michael Cuesta
- Commentary by Brian Cox
- Deleted Scenes
- Theatrical Trailer
- Ali Catterall film notes.
by Anon on 9th March 2003
LIE is the award-winning cinematic directorial debut of Michael Cuesta (director of the wonderful 'Six Feet Under'). This beautiful, understatedly erotic film tells t... Read on
LIE is the award-winning cinematic directorial debut of Michael Cuesta (director of the wonderful 'Six Feet Under'). This beautiful, understatedly erotic film tells the story of Howie, a middle-class 15 year old whose
mother has been killed in a car crash and father is too embroiled in his corrupt building company and new girlfriend, to show his son any attention. Howie gets his affection from his group of delinquent friends, in particular, the wonderfully androgynous Gary, who he has a crush on. Together, the boys burgle local houses as they plan their getaway to California. Despite Howie's desire for his friend, he's unaware that Gary is in fact a rent boy who sells himself to middle-aged men. Following their
robbery of a local retired diplomat's house, Howie's already troubled life starts to fall apart. Gary runs away alone, BJ (Brian Cox) the man they robbed, turns out to be a predatory paedophile who's been using Gary for years and is after pay-back for the robbery, Howie's father is jailed, without Howie being aware he was under investigation. BJ begins grooming the boy - seducing him with kindness and the affection his father has starved him of and much of the latter tension of the film is based on the dichotomy between BJ's predatory instincts and paternal feelings for the boy. The acting is first class. Brian Cox (both menacing and enticing) and Paul Franklin Dano subtle portrayal of Howie are utterly convincing and
engaging. The early scenes between Howie and Gary are some of the most spot-on evocations of teenage desire I've ever seen. The film brings up many questions about sexuality and the need for affection, without preaching and really sticks in your mind. A tender, touching evocation of how unaware people often are of the full picture of their lives. Hide