Film: Little White Lies (Les Petits Mouchoirs)

Year: 2010

Director: Guillaume Canet

Venue: Tricycle Theatre/Cinema, London

Additional Information:

A sleepy, warm-ish Saturday afternoon, fitting for a day at the beach – at least, a beach on film anyway.

Alright. This film was different from that which I expected – that’s what happens when you intentionally/unintentionally have minimal trailer views, read zero news and nil reviews [one rhyme at a time, line by line, a poem I doth find)…On this occasion I only knew from what had been in the trailer.

This picture is perhaps a little long but this time is well-spent character building and whatever you do don’t miss the beginning, if only due to one shot which I particularly loved – and I know others did too.

We’re introduced to the characters, of course, and no matter how we’re later introduced to any flaws they may have we still warm to each one of them. I dare you to take a disliking to any of this crowd.

Are they family or friends? Well, mostly friends. A little like the Paul T Anderson movie, Magnolia – but perhaps not as grandiose,- these characters are connected by one character. This said, it could be told that there are actually a couple of such characters whom the majority revolve around or seem bonded to. You see, when you’ve been friends with one another for a long time strong bonds are built within your immediate and extended circle.

(Funny / Serious)

The funniest guy is definitely François Cluzet. Although at first I wasn’t sure if it was intentional comedy, but as the movie extends you will see – as did the audience whom I spent the 2.5 hours with – that it is intentional and more often than not it is subtle humour. Subtle humour that’s capable of providing one with a belly laugh on occasion.

Now, if you’ve see the trailer or posters you will have noted that some of the film is based at sea, either in it or by it. Indeed, any shots in the sea – for example, on a motorboat – are pretty sublime in realism and colour. As is the summerhouse-come-dwelling – it really makes you feel like you’re on holiday or at least makes you wish you were on one!

I won’t elaborate, I don’t like to but I will say that although this story is set in few locations it’s the relationships of these many characters which keep you intrigued. This is exactly why I won’t divulge further information on these people – there is far too much being revealed about themselves to mention, let alone know where to start.

One rather bizarre moment – or perhaps normal, considering these ‘normal’ beings – involves someone speaking to a jar of rice. Why? Again, I won’t say – Well, I like to inject a little mystique into the intentional vagueness of my reviews. But I will say that if anyone ever caught me talking angrily to a jar of rice, I would turn back to the jar and exclaim “Now, look what you made me do – you made me look like an idiot!” This may make more sense when you see the film – or perhaps I’ve inserted words such as those as I’ve seen one too many movies over the years.

For the sake of a few points I mentally noted, there is also a musician who is involved with this family. Does he like rice? It doesn’t matter… [that was my smart attempt at linking from one paragraph to another] … There is, however a moment which I couldn’t help thinking of, due to the words stated. There is a line along the lines (?) of “…since he rocked up…” ‘Rocked Up’? Was that a reference to him being a musician? I felt it a very American thing to say although perhaps it was lost in the translation of the subtitles. Either way, how ironic.

When the aforementioned musician plays a song for those present you may get a little lost in the moment. So much so that you want to applaud him when he finishes – I know I did (Meaning…I know I did ‘feel like’ applauding, not ‘I DID’ applaud…that may be a step too far in the cinema, albeit not that out of place at the Tricycle Theatre cinema, for someone to clap at the screen;)

Whilst on a musical note, I simply must comment on this movie’s soundtrack…one word…? Ok…”Wow”…! A mix of classic, well-known songs with some lesser-known tunes. I really left the film wanting to find and purchase the OST. [Incidentally, I searched on the world wide web but could not locate such a soundtrack, but I do hope there is one].

Add to this the fact that I weeped at a certain point of this film, I have to say it got me in every sense going – Life, the people we connect with and that its all over one day. Perhaps I’m very emotive or compassionate – the combination of certain scenes & music caused Little Clear Tears…and that’s no Little White Lie.

Footnote: 3’s & 5’s

As we near the 5th month of 2011 I note that this is my 3rd* French Film of 2011, so far and I can honestly say that I’d give it more than 3 stars out of 5 and almost certainly give it 3 French kisses & a High 5.