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L.I.E. [2002] [DVD]

Brian Cox , Paul Dano , Michael Cuesta    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
Price: £7.11 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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L.I.E. [2002] [DVD] + Mysterious Skin [DVD] [2005]
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Product details

  • Actors: Brian Cox, Paul Dano, Bruce Altman, Billy Kay, James Costa
  • Directors: Michael Cuesta
  • Writers: Michael Cuesta, Gerald Cuesta, Stephen M. Ryder
  • Producers: Michael Cuesta, Jose Gilberto Molinari-Rosaly, Linda Moran, Rene Bastian
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Tartan
  • DVD Release Date: 28 April 2003
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008OP6X
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,836 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

L.I.E. features quietly electrifying performances from newcomer Paul Franklin Dano and criminally underrated veteran Brian Cox (best known on the big screen as the original Hannibal Lecter in Manhunter), as a neglected teenager and his paedophile acquaintance respectively.

Fifteen-year-old Howie derives no support from the inept parenting of his widower father and instead seeks solace and companionship firstly with a group of delinquent burglar friends and subsequently with the former marine Big John, whose complex makeup--part father-figure, part Fagin, part Svengali, part abuser--leads Howie into an ambivalent relationship in which there are no easy answers or straightforward notions of right and wrong. The premise of the movie is thrown into sharp relief by the cosy New Jersey setting, all neatly-manicured lawns and cool interiors. Indeed, the most striking images in the film are the burglary scenes, in which Howie's furtive, awkward presence in the sterile blandness of his victims' uncluttered homes forms a double-edged metaphor for both the security and the anodyne mediocrity of the society from which he feels so alienated. --Roger Thomas

Product Description

Fifteen-year-old Howie (Paul Franklin Dano), is a young New Jersey native whose life falls apart around him; his mother died in a car accident several years before and his father has fallen apart. When Howie gets into bad company with Gary (Billy Kay) and is persuaded to join him in a burglary, he finds himself in a situation he is not too comfortable with; the home they burgled is that of former marine Big John (Brian Cox) who once used Gary as a male prostitute and now has a taste for teenage boys. In fact Big John makes a proposition to Howie: pay off his debt by having sex with him. Despite Howie feeling uncomfortable with the situation, Big John comes to realise just how much emotional help Howie needs.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lanes Going Straight To Hell 22 Oct 2006
Format:DVD
Originally I was drawn to the DVD by its title, 'L.I.E.' While director Michael Cuesta uses the Long Island Expressway as a metaphor, 'L.I.E.' also symbolises the way in which everyday people hide the truth from those closest to them, and the lies we deceive ourselves with. Without beating the viewer over the head with morality, Cuesta aims his cameras unflinchingly at the characters, never shying away from truth or brutal reality.

Howie is a sensitive fifteen year old, prone to poetry and schoolboy crushes, like the one he has on his friend Gary, a morally bankrupt male prostitute. Because of his unrequited feelings, Howie is drawn into a life of petty crime, anything to be near Gary. When a particular burglary turns sour and Howie is eventually tracked down by the homes owner; a pedophile played with excellent depth by Brian Cox, the film begins its downward spiral into emotional territory rarely experienced on film. With brilliant clarity, Michael Cuesta has filmed one of the most richly told tales I've ever had the pleasure to view.

Not for the squeamish, if sexuality is a trigger for you, 'L.I.E.' is brutally honest filmmaking at its best. Highly recommended...
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars poignant, touching film 7 Oct 2005
Format:DVD
This must strike a chord with any gay man who remembers what it was like growing up in a hostile world, or indeed anyone who lacked the love of a father. Very touching film and tastefully portrayed for a sensitive subject. The character played by Cox is not demonised as one might expect from a cliched movie, but shows both sides of a human being. We can empathise with the older man despite his obvious failings. The film is well-scripted and the actor playing the boy is superb. It shouldn't be rated restricted - a 15 rating would do but the world is hardly ready for a debate on the topics raised in this very thought-provoking film.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting idea, but could have been much more 22 May 2006
By Son of Nietzsche VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
The Amazon synopsis is fairly comprehensive, and no more need be said about the plot of this film. As to its quality, `L.I.E.' has two main strengths: first, the acting, and second, the portrayal of `Big John'. Regarding the former, the talent of the actors is faultless. Brian Cox (Big John) gives a highly sensitive and credible performance as the pseudo-father figure to Howie. Paul Franklin Dano (Howie) is due particular praise (since it was his debut feature film) for giving life to the character of Howie. And Billy Kay (Gary) is not only stunning and breathtakingly sensual, but has an incredible magnetism and presence.

As to the second strength, it is very refreshing to actually see a man whose sexual inclinations include pederasty being portrayed as a complex character - with his sexual life being just one part of what comprises his personality - as opposed to the stereotypical bogeyman which filmmakers apparently feel obliged to portray.

However, beyond these positive aspects, there is little of value to be gained from watching this film. Whilst I certainly enjoyed it, and may - perhaps - watch it a second time, it lacks sufficient emotional depth. What depth there was existed primarily between the two teenagers, Howie and Gary, and that evaporates when, disappointingly, Gary exits less than halfway into the film. Where is the intensity? What is there to draw the viewer in and burrow itself into their psyche? Whilst the film is to be commended for it's portrayal of Big John, there is definitely nothing `provocative' or `haunting' about it - descriptions that are robotically bandied about, given its subject matter. Indeed, there is absolutely nothing to warrant the 18 certificate that the censors thought fit to proscribe - no nudity, violence or sex.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars (From the DVD Liner Notes) 19 May 2003
Format:DVD
“I needed to make a movie that stayed with people emotionally and psychologically” says L.I.E. director Michael Cuesta. The result, his debut, bears all the hallmarks of a quietly assured, minor modern classic. As Brian Cox, who plays L.I.E’s big-hearted pederast ‘Big John’ Harrigan, says, “It’s old-fashioned in many ways, a film that takes its time and doesn’t suffer from MTV jump-cutting”.
L.I.E stands for Long Island Expressway, a commuter-crowded freeway running like a knife slash through an affluent New York suburb; for Cuesta “a metaphor for a kid who’s about to be sent into the scary world of adulthood regardless of whether he’s ready or not”. A hazardous route then which, we learn, has already killed ‘Cat’s in the Cradle’ singer/songwriter Harry Chapin, All the President’s Men director Alan J Pakula – and the mother of L.I.E.’s 15-year-old Howie (a remarkable performance of put-on adolescent toughness, vulnerability and knowing from Paul Franklin Dano). The ‘lie’ of the title symbolising the myth of cosy suburbia but more pertinently, the casual or far-reaching deceits L.I.E.’s guilt-edged cast of slack-jawed wide boys, footloose rent boys, corrupt white-collar contractors and “always ashamed” Chicken Hawks will visit on themselves and one another, emotionally hobbled, or shot-through with grief, every one.
If L.I.E initially drew comparisons with the work of Harmony Korine, Larry Clark – and Todd Solondz in particular, Cuesta’s film contains a warmth and delicacy often lacking from these fellow chroniclers of suburban juvenile woe.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars good film not for every one
great film
Published 1 month ago by paul
4.0 out of 5 stars I thought it was an Ecxellent Movie which needs to be watched and...
Similar in some ways to Mysterious Skin, It is equally controversial in it's choice of subject matter - the relationship or non-relationship between an unhappy teenage boy (and his... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Stephen O'Byrne
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Film!
The story was original, good casting and well acted.
Certainly well watching.
I personally enjoy a film when I can not see how it will pan out in the end - and I couldn't... Read more
Published 16 months ago by D. Simon Morrison
4.0 out of 5 stars L.I.E. (2002) (DVD)
Outstanding performance by Brian Cox as Big John, not an easy role, but
masterfully handled by Cox who demonstrates how cunning and manipulative
men like Big John are in... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Jack
5.0 out of 5 stars life story with a twist.
Well made and well constructed making it easy to follow as we jump back n forth , in one boys life . Read more
Published 23 months ago by D. Lloyd
4.0 out of 5 stars Who's Seducing Who?
Michael Cuesta is more renowned for working in US television, most notably `Six feet Under'. This was his first feature film.

L.I.E. Read more
Published on 17 Aug 2012 by Nicholas Casley
1.0 out of 5 stars Huge Disapointment Why sell to UK / Europe markets ???
Naively I purchase from an Amazon advertised company a DVD thinking if sold on Amazon for UK / Europe markets one could play it on a DVD player here in the UK? Alas not! Read more
Published on 1 Feb 2012 by L. WANG
4.0 out of 5 stars Realistic and engaging; excellent treatment.
I found this film to be very engaging in its truthful treatment of topics we seem to find difficult to handle in the West at the moment. Read more
Published on 15 Jan 2012 by D. M. Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a night in
The description may be a bit deceptive. There is really nothing in this film that would offend - no drink, drugs or sexual activity (one tiny piece perhaps which shows the top of a... Read more
Published on 22 Jun 2011 by JOSEPH OLIVER
5.0 out of 5 stars A Disturbing Masterpiece
L.I.E. revolves around the story of 15 year old Howie Blitzer, a troubled teen who wanders aimlessly through his suburban Long Island life. Read more
Published on 24 April 2010 by Ernie
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