Beautiful Lies (French) – Movie Review


It’s been a hectic week. I’ve been feeling down. Hormones? Sister leaving soon? Stress with DSA? I have no idea myself. So when Bee called about watching the movie, I agreed, despite the fatigue yesterday. I’m glad I went.

Beautiful Lies is a beautiful movie. Unlike most scripts where deception is the main theme and the suspense is often about how the perpetrator tries to cover her tracks, thankfully this movie is much more.

This French movie depicts a loving relationship between a mother and her daughter, an old fashion adulation from a secret admirer and the simple yearning for love, even in a middle-aged woman. Emilee (the lovely Audrey Tautou) recently opened a hair salon with a friend and engages an odd job worker, Jean, to do some maintenance and repair around. Unknown to her, Jean has been attracted to her for some time and decides to write an anonymous letter to her. She discards the old-fashioned admiration letter flippantly in the bin, thinking it’s from the old pastor down the street. Emilee’s mother, Maddy, has been suffering from depression after her husband left her for a woman twenty years younger four years ago. Wanting to cheer her mother, Emilee retrieves the letter from the bin, copies it and sends it to Maddy. Maddy immediately perks up, and Emilee is forced to continue writing to her mother in her own words, which Maddy describes as ‘fake’. Meanwhile, Emilee discovers that Jean is actually a Harvard graduate who knows six languages and was recently working as a translator in the UN. She feels inferior around him and avoids him, sending him on errands. Jean, instead of mailing the love letter to Maddy, drops it off by hand and Madddy follows him into Emilee’s salon, thinking that he is the one who is writing to her. Desperate, Emilee decides to pay Jean to date her mother. Emilee learns the true identity of the letter writer when Maddy gushes to her how Jean knew the content of the letter, words for words.

There were many laugh-out-loud moments, even as we could only read the subtitles. At one point, when Jean was accusing two Chinese women of theft in Mandarin, the cinema erupted with a ‘wow!’. As the credit rolled at the end of the movie, we sighed at how beautiful the tale was told, and a regret that the magic has ended.

‘It’s a good movie,’ Bee said, a statement not heard for a long while. Yes, it is. Go see it.

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About vickychong

Just an ordinary woman.
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