Indie Gems: L.I.E

The lesson here: Pay attention to your children.

This year, Paul Dano and Brian Cox appeared together in another film called "The Good Heart". What a lot of people may or may not have known was that they first starred together in "L.I.E" in 2001.

Paul Dano has a lot of talent and it shows in his first feature. Dano plays Howie, a confused teenager who's going through a rough time. His mother has just died, his dad doesn't pay attention to him. He's hangs with the wrong crowd. He and his buddies take up robbing houses in their spare time. Unfortunately for them, they rob Big John (Brian Cox) and John catches Howie in the act. Howie soon learns that this isn't the first time his closest friend Gary (Billy Kay) has had a run in with Big John. Howie soon finds himself forming a strange and dangerous relationship with him

What amazed me most about the film was how well Dano carried it. At 15, this was his first feature film, and it's not easy content he had to work with. He's grown into one of my favorite actors and it all started here. Cox plays the creepy, John subtly, but makes an impact. He makes John just plain uncomfortable to watch at times. Another thing I can respect about this film was how fiercely the directors/producers appealed it's original rating. The film was first released at an (unfair) NC17 for subject matter. They eventually got it down to R. This film is just another example of how ridiculous the MPAA can be.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "I'm in my own" - Howie (Paul Dano)


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