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Non-Review Review: The Good Lie

The Good Lie works very well.

Margaret Nagle’s script was inspired by the “lost boys” who escaped the Sudanese Civil War. These displaced refugees found themselves scattered. Some walked hundreds of miles to neighbouring countries like Ethiopia or Kenya. Some travelled even further, emigrating to countries like the United States. The Good Lie is a fascinating exploration of the lives of four such immigrants who arrive in their new home in the year 2000, finding themselves struggling to adapt to life in America. It is a subject that could easily seem exploitative or maudlin.

Packing light...

Packing light…

It would be easy to turn The Good Lie into a heavy-handed meditation on human suffering as explored through the eyes of these four immigrants. The poster for The Good Lie allots considerable space to actress Reese Witherspoon, and it would be easy to write the story as told from the perspective of the American characters who interact with these new arrivals. It is to the credit of Nagle’s script that The Good Lie never allows its focus to shift, that it is never distracted by the more prominent American cast members.

The Good Lie is perhaps a little bit too broad in its humour at points, and its structure occasionally feels a little contrived. However, there is a lot of warmth and affection underpinning the script, with the sense of humour helping to relieve what could easily descend into an overly solemn drama.

Leaving on a jet plane...

Leaving on a jet plane…

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Non-Review Review: The Mummy (1932)

The Mummy is often unfairly dismissed as an inferior attempt to emulate the success of Dracula. It’s from the same writer, John L. Balderston, and the credits are even set to the same music – the powerful Swan Lake theme that opened that other iconic horror. I’d argue that the influence of Frankenstein can also be keenly felt on the picture, and not just in its leading actor. However, I think The Mummy is often unfairly overlooked when examining the Universal Monster Movies, playing more like a creepy existential romantic epic than a conventional creature feature horror film.

He needs his beauty sleep…

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