Pros: Isabelle Huppert and Chloë Moretz; musical accompaniment Cons: guessable plot; too much with the agility of the heroine Isabelle Huppert “In the Arms of Lies” / Greta
Director Neil Jordan
Starring Chloe Moretz (Francis), Isabelle Huppert (Greta), Maika Monroe (Erica), Colm Feore (Father Francis), Stephen Rea (Brian), Zave Ashton (Alexa), etc.
Студии Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Lawrence Bender Productions, Little Wave Productions
Year of release 2018 (in Ukraine 2019)
The main character of the film is the sweet and naive waitress Frances (Chloë Moretz), who recently lost her mother. Every day she gets to work by metro – it is there that the girl notices a woman’s bag forgotten by someone on the seat. Looking inside, Francis finds an ID card. She figures out the address of the owner of the bag and returns the find to a woman named Greta (Isabelle Huppert), who gives the impression of an extremely sophisticated and, alas, lonely woman. The two of them really miss their loved ones, so Francis becomes attached to Greta and begins a friendship with her. This lasts until Francis accidentally stumbles upon dozens of bags in Greta’s house, which, judging by their contents, the woman leaves as bait in the subway. Francis gets scared and rushes to break off all contacts, but this is not so easy to do.
In short, Embracing Lies teaches you not to trust anyone, even if someone needs your help. But seriously, the premise of the film is reminiscent of films from the 90s with frightening stalkers who become obsessed with the main characters. In them, the pursuers looked at the objects of their adoration through the windows, followed on their heels, begged to talk, and then committed more and more extravagant acts. In this film, “In the Arms of Lies” does not manage to get rid of clichés. Perhaps the creators didn’t even bother to avoid them, showing viewers a rather predictable thriller, which primarily attracts attention with the names of those who worked on the film.
The director and screenwriter of “In the Arms of Lies” was Neil Jordan, known to many for his films “Interview with the Vampire,” “Ondine” and “Byzantium.” It may seem that Jordan never released anything more successful than Interview with the Vampire, but this is not so. A couple of years before the release of the mystical drama, he created a bold (as per the 1992 framework) psychological thriller “Cruel Game” about the sympathy of an Irish action movie for a woman who turns out to be a transsexual. For this film, Neil Jordan received an Oscar in the category of best original screenplay and at the same time the opportunity to make other unusual films.
Over the past few years, Jordan has been working on television projects, and the film “In the Arms of Lies” marked Neil’s return to big cinema. The return was not the most successful. The script for his new film is far from original and won no prizes for the best work. But the director invited the American actress of the new generation Chloë Moretz and the iconic French actress Isabelle Huppert, who has more than a hundred films to her credit, to shoot with the director. No matter how hard they try to make the thriller interesting, every step in it is guessed in advance, which makes the picture rather mediocre. Although it is still worth talking about the acting of the actresses – after all, they have almost all the screen time.
Isabelle Huppert manages to be a very sophisticated and attractive woman, whose company is pleasant even on the other side of the screen. At the same time, she quickly switches to the mode of a frightening and intrusive lady, whose persecution knows no bounds. This sometimes raises doubts: is mysticism involved in her agility? In fact, no, the only culprit for awakening such guesses is the director-screenwriter, who overdid the enthusiasm of Huppert’s character. Isabelle herself wonderfully plays out the different facets of Greta, after whom the film is named.
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To film the film, Chloë Moretz worked in a restaurant for several days so as not to be clumsy as a waitress. True, her character still drops the dishes in the film, fortunately, not through the actress’s fault. The heroine that Moretz has portrayed generally evokes positive emotions, and so does Chloe herself. For the film, like Isabelle Huppert, she did everything possible.
There is another character in the film played by an actress named Maika Monroe – this is a friend who lives with Frances. Her lines at the beginning of the film are probably meant to add some levity, but sometimes they just take away any chance the thriller has to be taken seriously.
But what helps the film is the music, designed to emphasize Greta’s elegance. In the background are songs by American singer Julie London and French singer Lucienne Delisle, which were popular in the 1950s. Chopin joins them to embellish the grandeur of the heroine’s madness. And it works out well.
The bad thing is that “In the Embrace of Lies” collected too many movie clichés. A well-executed picture cannot compensate for the rather predictable actions of the main characters. If you close your eyes to this, you can watch the film, but you shouldn’t have high hopes.
The plot of the film and the essence of the relationship between the main characters are clear from the trailer. Therefore, the film will not present any big surprises.