"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

The Lie: Acting about Acting

My wife and I caught The Lie last night on Amazon Prime Video.  A scalding little movie from Blumhouse, and from the brain behind The Killing (Veena Sud), with one of its big stars ( Mireille Enos).

[spoilers follow]

First, let me say that I guessed the big shocking reveal at the end -- foresaw this about halfway through the movie.  The reason was two-fold: 1.  We didn't see Britney actually being pushed to her death.  2. Britney's body wasn't recovered.  And although the current was swift, the water didn't look particularly deep.

But this didn't spoil in the least my enjoyment of the movie, which grabs you by your collar as soon as Jay hears his daughter Kayla cry out, and keeps you there for the next ninety minutes.  Further, the acting is really impressive, with a typical brilliant performance by Enos across a simmering and wild range of emotions.

Joey King as Kayla was also noteworthy.  Her acting was, in effect, a double meta-performance.  She has to act to her parents as if she did shove Britney to her death.  And she has to pretend just the opposite to the police: that nothing untoward happened.  And then the big reveal that she and Britney were putting this whole thing on: we need to believe, after that, that Kayla was acting about everything she said before.

I believed it, and so did my wife.   If you've read this far, through the warned spoilers, you've already seen The Lie.  If somehow you haven't, it's well worth seeing.


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