L.I.E.

L.I.E.

4.5 10
Director: Michael Cuesta

Cast: Brian Cox, Paul Franklin Dano, Billy Kay

     
 
Michael Cuesta's intense coming-of-age film L.I.E. comes to DVD with a widescreen transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. There are neither subtitles nor closed-captions on this release. Supplemental materials include a commentary track recorded by the director and lead

Overview

Michael Cuesta's intense coming-of-age film L.I.E. comes to DVD with a widescreen transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. There are neither subtitles nor closed-captions on this release. Supplemental materials include a commentary track recorded by the director and lead actor Brian Cox, deleted scenes, and the original theatrical trailer. This is a great disc from New Yorker, and is preferable to the R-rated version of the disc that is also available.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
L.I.E., the directorial debut of Michael Cuesta, tells the disturbing story of a sensitive, upper-middle-class Long Island teen (Paul Franklin Dano) who is drifting aimlessly into a life of crime when he finds a most unusual mentor in a middle-aged ex-Marine (Brian Cox) who happens to be a pederast. L.I.E. is as disconcerting as they come, painting a picture of a sterile suburban landscape permeated by pedophilia, incest, and white-collar crime. The banality of the evil here calls to mind the films of Todd Solondz and Larry Clark, but Cuesta eschews both the satire of films such as Happiness and Welcome to the Dollhouse and the bleak hopelessness of Kids. He chooses, instead, rather daringly, to focus on the core of humanity beneath the depravity. Cox is key to the film's success -- his amazing performance teeters on the edge of the demonic before it opens into a realm where real compassion can be found even in the heart of a man who's past the point of redemption. Ultimately, while L.I.E. does its all to expose suburban life as a lie, the simple decency that is revealed beneath it becomes the film's liberating truth.
All Movie Guide - Jason Clark
A difficult, tricky subject is given thoughtful, droll treatment by terrific first-time writer/director Michael Cuesta in this funny, revealing look at the unlikely bond between an aging ex-Marine who happens to like very young boys and a deserted 15-year old who enters his life. Instead of reveling in smutty put-ons and generalizations about pedophilia and teenage rebellion, the movie looks deeper at the complexities of its highly intriguing male characters and becomes an acute study of behavior and loneliness. The film is successful mostly due to the superlative performances in the lead roles by Brian Cox and Paul Franklin Dano, both of whom inject emotional validity and uncommon depth into characters that could have been lazily conceived. Their relationship unfolds in a refreshing, naturalistic fashion, and until the hollow final scenes (which wrap the movie up far too neatly), it never hits a single false note in the execution. A fine feature debut, markedly better than many recent independents due to its sensitive portrait of troubled individuals, the film premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival but took some time finding a distributor due to its strong subject matter and ratings board disputes. (The film received an NC-17 upon submission, which seems highly unwarranted.)
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers

It's a powerful and provocative achievement from a first-time filmmaker of enormous promise.
Los Angeles Times - Kevin Thomas
L.I.E. has embraced tragedy, folly, perversity and outrageous dark humor. Like Happiness and American Beauty, it takes an unflinching look at the darker aspects of life in American suburbia.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/04/2002
UPC:
0717119850241
Original Release:
2001
Rating:
R
Source:
New Yorker Video
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:37:00

Special Features

Original theatrical trailer; Scene selections; Deleted scenes; Commentary by director Michael Cuesta and actor Brian Cox

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Brian Cox Big John Harrigan
Paul Franklin Dano Howie Blitzer
Billy Kay Gary Terrio
Bruce Altman Marty Blitzer
James Costa Kevin Cole
Tony Donnelly Brian
Walter Masterson Scott
Marcia de Bonis Guidance Counselor
Adam Le Fevre Marty's Lawyer

Technical Credits
Michael Cuesta Director,Screenwriter
David Alvarez Sound/Sound Designer
Rene Bastian Producer
Elise Bennett Production Designer
Eric Carlson Editor
Gerald Cuesta Screenwriter
Pierre Foldes Score Composer
Daniel Glicker Costumes/Costume Designer
Judy Henderson Casting
Jose Gilberto Molinari-Rosaly Asst. Director,Co-producer
Linda Moran Producer
Kane Platt Editor
Stephen M. Ryder Screenwriter
Romeo Tirone Cinematographer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Long Island Expressway [4:15]
2. Breaking and Entering [6:34]
3. Big John's Birthday [6:28]
4. Sniffing Around [6:48]
5. A Sticky Issue [10:00]
6. Working It Off [8:39]
7. Gary Splits [10:39]
8. Walt Whitman [9:12]
9. Busted [9:24]
10. A Father Figure [10:55]
11. Federal Prison [10:41]
12. End Credits [3:32]

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L.I.E. 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ok...so you've read what it's about and you want to know if it's good...yes, it is good. In fact, it is unbelievable and has been called the best film of 2001 by many critics...I would agree with them. Do not let the NC-17 slapped on it scare you away. It in no way deserves this. There is nothing in the film you can't find in most movies today except for creativity and brilliance. This is the only exception. The acting is superb, directing outstanding, script wonderful...you get the picture. Buy the movie. Not recommended for right-winged republicans.
Guest More than 1 year ago
WHEN I LOOKED AT THE COVER ALL I SAWL WAS A HOT BOYBUT WHEN I WATCHED IT I THOUGHT IT WAS THE GREATEST MOVIE.I COULD WATCH IT OVER AND OVER.I LOVED THE STORY!EVEN THOUGH THERE WAS ALOT OF COUSING AND STUFF.I WISH I COULD MEET HOWIE. HE IS LOOKING MIGHTY FINE.IM SO PLEASED IT OWN THE BEST MOVIE IN 2001.I THINK THEY SHOULD MAKE A SECOND L.I.E MOVIE.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film was outstanding and had no need to be condeemed by an NC-17 rating. It reveals the good story and thought provoking circumstances hidden behind a young boys life. I consider it one of the best films I have ever watched.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Now most people would generally shun away from a film with such shocking content, and some don't focus on homosexual content and just say ''bring on the film,'' either way, this is a film not to be missed. To fully grasp this film, people must examine under the surface, as you would to any indie drama. Underneath all of the lies and deceipt are very real people that on some level connect with everyone. Wheather it be that just feeling that you're alone in the world with no one that would care that your pulse is beating or not, and that maybe you will indeed find a crutch with someone who you were more likely to kill than speak to. Or it being that you too have lost someone and you are trying to fill that hole. Or maybe following Howie, you too just might look under the surface of your world and see that the people who seem to be your friends and enemies are in fact your enemies and friends, that the people around you are not as they appear. Although there have been many other books and films with the same ''nothing is what is seems'' premis/theme, but taking such harsh subject matter along with the primary issue of adolesence and teen rebellion makes Michael Cuesta a director to be prepared for.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a ''feel good'' movie for pedophiles of the new millenium. If you have wondered how long it would take America to see the truth that children are really the seducers and make the first move then look no further, this is the movie for you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
L.I.E. (Long Island Expressway) Ok so what made me decide to pick this movie up at BlockBuster? The fact that i live off the L.I.E. The movie itself was awesome, it seems that what is going on in the movie could most definantly be going on in real life. The use of not caring about sexuality and doing it in a suddle way is kinda erotic. The actors were brilliant, made me feel like i knew them because most of the guys on long island ae like that! LOL :OP
Guest More than 1 year ago
L.I.E. does an excellent job of reflecting some of the struggles faced by a young man who's life is far from perfect. And while many reviews focus on the pedophilia aspect, that is only a subplot to the overall story. The only downside is that while the character of Howie is very well developed the same can't be said for most of his friends. It looks like a couple of them are going to be major players in the story but, except for a couple of false starts, it never happens. The best part of the movie is that it doesn't follow the conventional storylines where you've figured out the ending 1/4 of the way through the film. L.I.E. turns out to be sort of an updated, grown-up, east coast version of ''Over the Edge!''
Guest More than 1 year ago
It all depends on your opinion, and your openness with the topic of alternative sexualities and lifestyles. Within the movie, there are some portions which find themselves desturbing, although it is life. It isn't based on a true story to my knowledge, but it is very close to what people should be paying attention to. The topic is relative to different people, myself being gay, I find that it was well done. It conquers the myth that any gay person is instantly a child molester. Themes within the movie should be studied and understood. Promote understanding, and people will come.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was wonderful. I loved it. This movie captures how lonely being a teenager can be. Truely Great.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Michael Cuesta's debut film ''L.I.E.'' is one that is just brilliant and there is one key factor to it's brilliance. It lies in Brian Cox's performance as Big John Harrigan. Cox plays the role so well that by the end you actually feel sorry for this man who you would automatically judge as a monster. But even though Cox gives a magnificent Oscar-worthy performance don't think he hogs all the space. Paul Franklin Dano, in his debut performance, masters a wonderful Long Island accent and gives a wonderful performance as Howie. Michael Cuesta's wonderful direction is as dark and sometimes comedic as Sam Mendes' when he made ''American Beauty''. It speaks the truth about coming-of-age in todays world and discovering sexuality. Trust me, I know what that is like as a gay teen. People may not be lending themselves to prostitution like Billy Kay's character, Gary, did but it's a confusing thing. For anyone who's in the mood for something different to watch ''L.I.E.'' is a movie that will leave you with your mouth hanging wide open. ''L.I.E.'' received much praise at the Sundance Film Festival and praise from the critics upon it's release despite it's controversial NC-17 rating. Let's thank God or whoever you might worship that MPAA (the organization in charge of the movie ratings board) president, Jack Valenti, is retiring this year. This film has taken home many international honors and here are a few: Best Actor (Paul Dano) and Best Directorial Debut (Michael Cuesta) at the Stockholm Film Festival; Best Actor (Paul Dano) and Best Narrative Feature at L.A. Outfest; Best Actor in a Drama (Brian Cox) (defeating the likes of Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington) at the Golden Satellite Awards; Best Actor (Paul Dano), Best Director (Michael Cuesta), and Best Film at Fantasporto; Best Actor (Brian Cox) and Best New Filmmaker (Michael Cuesta) at the Boston Society of Film Critics Awards. Then there were the IFP West Independent Spirit Awards, as John Waters put it the, ''only awards show where a movie about a pedophile with a heart of gold can get the most nominations.'' And it did with 7 nominations. It was nominated for Best Supporting Male (Billy Kay), Best Male Lead (Brian Cox), Best First Screenplay (Stephen M. Ryder, Michael Cuesta, Gerald Cuesta), Best Director (Michael Cuesta), Best Feature and won the other two nominations for the Producers Award and Best Debut Performance (Paul Franklin Dano). Since ''L.I.E.'' Paul Franklin Dano is working on other things including a TV movie for Lifetime. Brian Cox has been in many things since he still continues to be such a great character actor. He has guest starred on ''Fraiser'' and won an Emmy for his performance in the TV movie, ''Nuremburg''. He has also been in ''The Rookie'', ''The Bourne Identity'', ''The Ring'', ''Adaptation'', ''25th Hour'', and ''X2: X-Men United''. Michael Cuesta has also gone on to direct some episodes of Alan Ball's (the Oscar winning writer of ''American Beauty'') acclaimed TV show, ''Six Feet Under'' on HBO.