Plot: What’s it about?
I must admit that I had zero desire to see The Good Lie after first viewing the previews. It seemed like it would be another Blind Side style movie. I recall reading some positive reviews that got me more on board with giving it a shot. The film begins with a prologue telling us that many young children from Sudan had to walk some 1000’s of miles to find new homes. Eventually some 3600 of them wound up in the United States and became known as “The Lost Boys of Sudan”. The film’s central focus is on four boys who win a lottery which brings them to the United States. It’s not long before they meet Carrie Davis (Reese Witherspoon), she works at an employment agency. Eventually, Carrie grows closer to the four boys, and even helps them with adjusting to the new life in the States. What surprised me most about this film is that Witherspoon takes a backseat to the story of the four boys. The trailers highlighted her presence thus making us think she’s the focal point. That isn’t the case, however, she does do fine work here. She has received a lot of praise recently for her work in Wild. While this film isn’t as challenging on her (certainly the physical aspect), she still does a fine job in her role.
There are many things to enjoy about this film, but if there is a nit to pick it’s that the pacing if a little off. It takes us a good while before Witherspoon shows up. I never felt it became a huge issue, but some editing might’ve helped things a bit. I’m also grateful that it avoids being overly sentimental. A lesser film would’ve likely drowned in sentiment and cheesiness. That doesn’t happen here. The story can be a bit predictable at times, but it kept me with it and held my interest. It might not be something I need to watch over and over, but it’s still very effective and well worth checking out.
Video: How’s it look?
The transfer is first-rate, especially the earlier scenes set in Africa. Details are consistently strong and colors are always bold and vibrant. I often got so carried away with how good it looks that I had to remind myself to focus on the movie, too. The image is AVC encoded with a 1.85:1 ratio. Those who check out this film will be very pleased with the results here.
Audio: How’s it sound?
We get a solid DTS HD track that shows plenty of range. There are some louder moments earlier in the film, and this really lets the rear channels get their work in. Vocals never caused any issues either. The film won’t challenge your set up continually, but it serves the film well and as it should.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- The Good Lie Journey – is a 16 minute featurette offering the basic behind the scenes notes. Don’t expect a lot of depth here since this is mostly a promotional piece.
- Deleted Scenes – We get about 15 minutes worth of footage that does provide some nice moments, but I felt the film was long enough as it is, so these were wisely deleted.
- DVD/Digital Copy