Customer Reviews: Little White Lies
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on March 3, 2012
Since I have an all-region DVD player, I was able to enjoy this exquisite movie about a group of friends who decide to take a previously planned vacation after one of them (played by Academy Award winner, Jean Dujardin) gets seriously injured in an accident. This character-driven movie deals with lies we tell ourselves, lies we tell others to keep face, and the consequences, positive or negative, for sometimes telling the truth. At the heart of it is the acceptance of friends for who they are, with their human frailties exposed. The ending, like the coming together of a complex tapestry, is extremely powerful and emotionally moving. There's not a false note in the fine ensemble cast. I sincerely hope that a Region 1 version will be released in the near future for North American consumption.
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Guillaume Canet creates films (Tell No One, Whatever You Say, J'peux pas dormir..., Je taim) that though they are about love, loss and life, they probe more deeply into the human condition than the glossy entertaining surface can conceal. In the end all of his films demand that the viewer connects to his concept of the flow of life and death and those aspects of living that make a difference. Les petits mouchoirs AKA Little White Lies magnifies these attributes. The story is so conversationally written that for a while it is difficult to pull together where the film is going, but by the end of the film the audience is so choked by the discoveries revealed that tears and a stunned afterburn are inevitable.

Every year, Max Cantara (François Cluzet), a successful restaurant owner, and Véronique (Valérie Bonneton), his eco-friendly wife invite a their close-knit circle of friends to their beautiful Cap Ferrat beach house near Bordeaux to celebrate the birthday of Antoine (Laurent Lafitte) and kick-start the vacation. But, this year, before they all leave Paris, their mutual friend Ludo (Jean Dujardin) is hurt in a serious motocycle accident, ends up the ICU and as the doctors say nothing can be done to change things for at least two weeks, the friends all proceed with their plans for vacation: no one stays behind to be supportive of Ludo, not even his apparent love partner Marie (Marion Cotillard). This sets off a dramatic chain of reactions and emotional responses. The eagerly anticipated vacation leads each of the protagonists to raise the little veils that for years they have draped over what bothers and upsets them. Pretenses become increasingly hard to keep up. Until the moment when the truth finally catches up with them all: each member of the group of friends has a problem that needs the support of real friends but none of them has the ability to share personal secrets. There are many concepts that are present here - one married man Vincent (Benoît Magimel) has an inexplicable physical and emotional attraction to Max who loathes the idea of a possible gay liaison; Marie is visited by an infrequent lover Nassim (Hocine Mérabet), Eric (Gilles Lellouche) longs to be reunited with the woman who has found another, Jean Louis (Joël Dupuch) awaits messages from his emotionally distant Juliette (Anne Marivin) - and so on. Yet each of these little situations confound Antoine who cannot believe this group would not stay near their critically injured friend Ludo. The consequences are revealing and point out the importance of owning up to the truths that define a life. To reveal the ending would be a disservice to all who may see this little masterpiece.

The entire cast is of the highest caliber and Canet succeeds in getting brilliant performances from each. Though each actor is excellent, the performances by Benoît Magimel, Marion Cotillard and François Cluzet are exceptional. This is a thinking person's film but one that holds as much brilliant drama and impact as any film before us today. Grady Harp, February 13
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on February 16, 2014
Les petits mouchoirs (Little White Lies) in an accurate and unfortunately sad representation of the life of friends who, despite one of theirs being in critical care following a motorcycle accident, go on with their vacation, abandoning said friend in Paris. Characters are well depicted and the cast of actors impressive. The film is somehow reminiscent of an American classic, The Big Chill. Even though one man is in the hospital fighting for his life, each character continues on with every day life and its insignificance. Characters impersonate archetypes: the rich guy, full of himself and always stressed and rude, the unhappy womanizer, the ambiguous bisexual good looking seductress, etc... surrounded by children who see their parents drink, smoke, have fun, argue, and so on. The decor is nice: the Atlantic coast of France, near the famous dune of Pila. Only one person is genuine: Jean-Louis, the local fisherman, who at the end of the film will break the bad news to the bunch, and make them realize how selfish their behavior is.
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on September 20, 2012
I loved this film! Saw it at the Reed College French House. The actors are so expressive and beautiful. I hope they release this for the US. It finds a balance between art and realism and feeling empty and feeling alive. Fantastic soundtrack and a great intro to French cinema. I DESPERATELY WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN AND HOPE TO SEE IT ON NETFLIX OR ITUNES OR ON DVD FOR OUR REGION :)
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on February 10, 2013
What a great film! And the Blu ray has geat picture and sound ( need the sound very loud because the music is just fantastic). Unfortunately the subtitles cannot transfer the real powerful and emotional message of certain dialogues. So, if you speak French you are in for a treat...I am not sure who came up with the English "translation" of the title "Little white lies", but it doesn't make any sense and it doesn't stand for anything. Total nonsense.

The film is about a close group of friends that are spending ten days together during summer vacation at a nice beach house close to Bordeaux which is about 600km from Paris. Max and his wife own the place. They have a boat and obviously a lot of money and they have invited all their close friends. One of them couldn't make it because he was in a nearly fatal bike accident. During this time all dirty secrets are coming out. The real title of the movie is "Les petits mouchoirs" which literarily means the "The Small Handkerchief". The title illustrates the fact that we always cover the small defects, a small stain on a table cloth, or a piece of dirt, with a small tissue. It is on the surface ready to show up. Same thing with our weaknesses or personal problems. There are not buried deep inside and are ready to show up any time. This is what the movie is about. About the small problems everybody has hidden inside and ready to come out. It always feels better afterwards. You feel free once you told everybody everything!!!

It is a great movie and like most great French movies, the characters are well developed. That is the reason that the movie is long (154 min). But it is worth your time and money. Especially if you speak French. In addition, the soundtrack is just fabulous. This is what I call the "old timers" music. All the good stuff from the 60's and 70's are there. This is my next purchase.

Five stars all around for the acting, the script (apparently was written in a week), the soundtrack, and the direction. To optimize the acting, all participants spent three months in the house before the start of the movie. Great move, everything is perfect, they really look and sound like the spent a lifetime together.
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on March 28, 2013
When I was in France a couple of years ago and saw this movie, I knew I had to have it! When it finally became available in the US, I was ecstatic! This movie has so many themes and I notice something different about it each time. I am sure that I will be watching it for years to come.
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on August 24, 2012
I had seen a trailer on the Internet and that it was being released at some theaters on 08/24/12. It was one I wanted to see but wasn't showing at any nearby theaters. Seeing that it was a 2010 movie, I checked Amazon and found it there. The Region A worked in my blu-ray player and I was not disappointed with the movie. It is one of best ensemble cast movies I have seen in a while. Like the other 5* rating, it reminded me of The Big Chill, but with more current story lines. All of the performances were excellent. The overall 3* rating is misleading as one review isn't about the movie, but that fact they couldn't play the DVD on their player. If you have a blu-ray player, set the subtitles to English and enjoy this excellent movie!
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on August 3, 2013
I'm a sucker for all things French and I live in the desert and dearly miss the ocean. So I sat through the first part of this film even though I found it slow and boring and the characters terribly petty. I was also jealous of their wonderful vacation at the beautiful home at the beach in SW France. There's lots of footage of pretty people cavorting on boats and in the water and of course having wonderful outdoor meals with lots of wine. After about an hour of this I shut it off. The next night I returned to see if anything interesting might happen. And it did. Slowly we saw through the cracks of the surface personalities and that's when it became involving. By the end I felt like I was almost one of the group and I liked them all a lot.

The film is long and I think it could have been cut. I did have a hard time with the American pop music which apparently sounds different to French ears than to mine. "Hang on Sloopy" appeared at what seemed like an absurd moment and "My Way" at the funeral?!

As others have noted this is in the tradition of" The Big Chill" and other ensemble pieces where a group of old friends gets together and interesting stuff happens. I agree with the reviewer who said this isn't the best of this genre but it isn't the worst either. And as most everyone agreed, the cast is superb and makes sitting through the boring parts tolerable. Marion Cotillard is particularly wonderful.

It's a good summer film if you can't go to the beach youself. A bottle of Bordeaux will help.
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on August 28, 2015
I usually balk at long movies, but this one flew by because so much was going on all throughout the film. In fact, I didn't want it to end, but it did and when it did...Spoiler Alert...I burst into tears. Well done and a Thank You for everyone responsible for bringing us this wonderful film.
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on March 3, 2014
My husband and I really enjoyed this French movie with English subtitles. It has been compared to The Big Chill, and I think the comparison is apt. We enjoyed the humor, the complexity of the characters, and the soundtrack. I highly recommend this film for people who like foreign movies.
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