Lie with Me
It’s sometimes a single aspect that really makes a film: the characterisation perhaps, an utterly engaging plot or a particularly deft script. In Lie with Me, an enchanting French romantic drama from director Olivier Peyon, it’s the film’s immaculately beautiful shooting. This creativity of process and a golden, autumnal wash go a long way to render this picture an energising watch.
Stéphane Belcourt (Guillaume de Tonquédec and Jérémy Gillet), now a renowned author, returns to his hometown of Cognac for the first time in three decades. It is here that, as a teenager, he had an impassioned relationship with school peer Thomas Andrieu (Julien de Saint Jean). This, its long-term concealment and the forging of a very genuine connection with Andrieu’s son, Lucas, cause a torrent of evocative memories to flood back to the writer as he struggles on with the professional engagement that has beckoned his return.
Lie With Me is certainly a beguiling film. The characters and their connections are deeply involving, and their speech genuine, both in the original French and in sensitive translation. It captivates when full attention is given its way, but quite little actually happens in a sense – the contemporary viewer unaccustomed to absolute involvement with a film is not likely to have a great deal of time for this admittedly.
The two timelines explored in this piece are tidily intertwined, evoking the profound power of memory, the bygone passionate and irrepressible relationship with the father giving way to the, in a way, just as intimate emotional companionship with the son. The performances are generally splendid, most particularly de Tonquédec and Gillet as old and young Belcourt respectively. This is a beautifully put-together, gorgeously set and emotionally charged piece of cinematic art.
Lie with Me is released in select cinemas on 18th August 2023.
Watch the trailer for Lie with Me here: