CINÉ OUT – Everyone knows that lying is an art. Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren prove it and play cat and mouse in The Art of Lying, psychological and sentimental thriller which comes out on screens this Wednesday, January 1st.
We are in London in 2009. Roy Courtnay (Ian McKellen) is a professional con artist who has a new target: Betty McLeish (Helen Mirren), recently widowed, whose fortune amounts to three million pounds. The two meet via a website and soon, due to a knee injury – his first lie -, Roy settles in the guest room in Betty’s villa in the suburbs.
Do not be fooled by appearances
Its goal is simple: siphon off the victim’s money by opening a joint account. Gradually, in fact, he succeeds in building a relationship of trust, even friendship, with Betty. She seems the ideal victim, and her grandson is worried about this situation. But do not trust appearances …
“We know that bad guys can be charming, to the point where spectators can end up being on their side. It’s interesting to try to make them accomplices of these characters and to trick their attention to prevent them from starting to ask questions “, says American director Bill Condon, whose last film in 2017 was a Disney remake of The beauty and the Beast, with Emma Watson.
A dizzying, even awesome half hour
For an hour, the script has trouble starting. And then the action takes another turn, the suspense rises, Roy’s biggest lie is not what we think, and the film ends with a dizzying, even preposterous half-hour, with twists and turns that the viewer could not imagine. “What I like the most is imagining how the audience will put this complex puzzle together with all its twists and turns. It is not only the twists that will surprise people, but how they arise and their reason for being. “ said the director.
Great duo of actors
The film is carried by a formidable duo of actors who have passed the age of playing the seduction but are tasty, brought together for the first time in the cinema: Ian McKellen, 80 years old, the Gandalf of the trilogies The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, perfect manipulator and false token; and Helen Mirren, 74, Oscar for Best Actress in 2006 for The queen and amazing recently in Anna by Luc Besson, and who here turns out to be devilishly cunning – but we do not realize this until late.
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