OTTAWA’S CINEMA FOR INTERNATIONAL AND INDEPENDENT MOVIES

The Good Liar

Read between the lies

In The Good Liar, Helen Mirren plays Betty, a retired, well-off widow looking for romantic companionship from a silver-years dating website. She finds herself set up for lunch with roguish old charmer Roy (Ian McKellen) who enchants her with his twinkly-eyed naughtiness, and, even though Betty can see he’s a little bit improper, she’s no prig and likes a laugh.

Poster for the con-man drama The Good LiarIt isn’t long before Roy has actually moved in as a platonic house guest, to the astonished disapproval of Betty’s grandson Steven (Russell Tovey). Steven is right to worry – because Roy is a dead-eyed predatory conman who delights in tricking widows out of their savings. But maybe this scheme to hoodwink Betty will not go as smoothly as Roy thinks.

This movie rattles along with terrific energy and dash, and the flashback sequences show that it’s actually far more daring and ambitious that you might expect. It’s a great duel between McKellen and Mirren.

– Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

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