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The Crack Magazine

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Lie With Me

Director: Olivier Peyon

Stars: Guillaume de Tonquedec, Victor Belmondo Jérémy Gillet, Julien De Saint Lauren

This bittersweet overly-determined exploration of storytelling, memory and the suffocating consequences of small-town life, follows a middle-aged author returning to his hometown of Cognac for the first time in decades. Shortly after arriving, author and teetotaller Stéphane Belcourt (de Tonquedeq), who has been commissioned to write a short story celebrating the town’s signature drink, meets distillery tour guide Lucas (Andrieu). Lucas, it is revealed is the son of the taciturn and tough farmer’s boy Thomas (De Saint Jean) who the shy seventeen-year-old Stéphane had a clandestine affair with in 1984 (Stéphane played in his younger incarnation by Gillet). Narratively the picture is a tad too neat, and features moments of jarring broad comedy, often at the expense of the small-town locals and gauche American tourists, but de Tonquedec manages to summon up something heartfelt from the melodrama, and cinematographer Martin Ritt renders the flashback scenes in a suitably intense golden hue.

David Willoughby

Follow David on Twitter @DWill_Crackfilm