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Friday, October 29, 2021

To Squirm Or Not To Squirm?

How far would you go to protect your children? Are there lines you don't think you'd cross

To readers who are not parents, my apologies. But the central premise of The Lie landed so squarely on these primal questions - questions I've asked myself countless times over my thirty-two years as a parent - that watching this 2020 film had me tied up in knots almost from the start. And though you don't need to be a parent to appreciate the acting, writing, or the brittle energy of this movie, if you are a parent, I feel confident saying you'll be oblivious to its craft as it moves inexorably to a biblically tragic conclusion.

Recommending a disturbing movie has backfired on me more than once. Given my meager following, I also don't relish the idea of losing readers. How about I qualify my endorsement? Like happy endings? This film is not for you. Don't mind being challenged down to your bedrock values? This movie is worth ninety minutes of your time. Parents: On a scale of 1-10 - breeze to horror show - how would you say you navigated the adolescence of your kid(s)? Anything less than five, I suspect you won't relate real well to this plot. All others, there's a chance you'll recognize some of the nightmares depicted here, but you might feel better knowing how you did vs. how the film parents fare. Idea of reliving or even recognizing some of that adolescent angst - and your reactions to it - make you uncomfortable? Skip the movie. Not frightened by catharsis? Sit back and enjoy. Actually, sit back and squirm is more like it.

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