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LIARS, THE

SYNOPSIS:
Budding scriptwriter Daisy (Bruni-Tedeschi) stages a minor accident to capture the attention of a famous actress, Helene Miller (Bracco), knowing that in showbusiness she needs contacts as well as talent to get anywhere. Her arrival coincides with the disappearance of Helene’s lover, Zac (Anglade). When he turns up eight months later Zac is a bum on the streets, a changed, disillusioned liar. He is secretive about what happened to him, and seems to have lost his love for Helene, much to her grief. Producer Marcus Dourmer (Frey) puts him to work with Daisy on a film script, to get him back to work, while he raises laundered money from underworld figures. Daisy and Zac begin to work together and develop a haphazard, unsettled relationship that gradually forms into something personal and meaningful, while Daisy tries to get Zac to reveal what really happened in those eight missing months. What he tells her is a wild, eccentric story - from which they write their script.

"For all its freshness and intellectually stimulating entertainment value, there are a few too many ideas jangling round in this film for its own good. Not that they are bad ideas: the film producer using laundered money to finance his film; the notion that we all would like to simply disappear at one time or another, to start again, wiping the troubles of our lives out like a wet sponge on a blackboard; the mysterious eight months that a film director has spent missing; the notion of a scriptwriting duet with the same film director and a young writer; the loss of love between a famous actress and a film director who disappears; the way a real life experience translates to the screen devoid of its original dynamics. All this and more, in 103 minutes. Director Chouraqui more or less boasts that the film is "a love story, an adventure film, a comedy, a violent, sensual film, electrifying thriller, etc, etc." For me, this smorgasbord generated a mild case of cinematic indigestion. On the other hand, there are some marvellous things in The Liars, including all the performances, and an edginess that sustains the tension throughout."
Andrew L. Urban

"I agree with Andrew about too many ideas… the result is somehow cluttered, and less satisfying than it should be. The performances are top notch - the two leads: Zac (Jean-Hughes Anglade) and Daisy (Valerie Bruni-Tedeschi) particularly captivating; it is easy to relate to some aspect of every character. In fact, at times, it seems that the film maker is trying too hard to be clever, rather than let the film plot its own course. The characters are strong, and their integration with each other complex and unexpected. Some of the notions are innovative; the way all the loose ends come together in the end is ultimately satisfying, but I expected more…"
Louise Keller

"From All about Eve to John Cassavetes, this extraordinary new French film borrows freely, but remains one of those unexpected pleasures: a film that is so startlingly original, so rich in detail and vividly drawn, that it really engulfs you in its twists and turns. The Liars is a film about deception and manipulation within the film industry, and has the same sense of genius as The Stuntman had, over a decade ago. Funny, dramatic, suspenseful and erotic, The Liars features a collage of intricately delineated characters that are somehow more than they appear. American actress Lorraine Bracco, who now lives in Paris, gives her best performance since Goodfellas as an obsessive, egomaniacal actress rediscovered in a rather unique way, and beautiful screen newcomer Bruni-Tedeschi is a major star in the making. But The Liars is a fresh and vibrant work, solidly written and directed by Elie Chouraqui, giving us an insight into the often unreal and manipulative world of cinema. This movie is a real French treat, and that's the truth."
Paul Fischer

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Jean-Hughes Anglade and Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi as Daisy and Zac

LIARS, THE (M)
(Les Menteurs; France)

CAST: Jean-Hughes Anglade, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, Lorraine Bracco, Sami Frey, Christian Charmetant, Marc Lavoine, Julie Gayet, Marie Guillard

DIRECTOR: Elie Chouraqui

PRODUCER: Zadic Films & Elie Chouraqui

SCRIPT: Suzanne Durrenberger

ORIGINAL CONCEPT: Elie Chouraqui and Antoine Lacomblez

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Francois Catonne

COSTUMES: Martine Rapin

RUNNING TIME: 103 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Dendy Films

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 5, 1997

 







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