The Lie

Joshua Leonard | 2011 | ★★★½
Leonard’s promising feature directorial debut slowly morphs from wince-inducing comedy to affectingly earnest philosophical drama, producing – from a distinctly alien culture and somewhat unpromising origins – a work that feels decidedly true, thanks in the main to some fine, committed performances. Consumed with a fear that he and wife are slowly being absorbed in to the system, a thirty-something hippy finds himself unable to go in to work one day, ringing in instead with the excuse that his baby daughter is ill. However, when the same thing happens again the following day, he goes a step further – in a moment of panic – and says that she has died. Predictably, his lie quickly snowballs, compounding his anxiety. Never the less, when the truth finally comes out, his wife’s reaction proves rather surprising.