L.I.E., Michael Cuesta (2001)

“The Movie about the Nice Pedophile,” said the headlines in reference to this scandale du jour. Next it’ll be “Edgy Film Suggests Cannibalism Just Another Lifestyle.”

The film almost manages to escape its premise. The characters of the kid and the pedophile are well-drawn, subtle, and three-dimensional–I’m genuinely interested in both of them. Past the 3/4 mark, though, the movie decides to start tying all the plot strands into neat bows, and then, worse, ends with a maddeningly overdetermined gunshot through the pedophile’s chest. Aesthetically boring, morally one-dimensional, totally chickenshit. As if the director asked John Ashcroft how best to end his film.


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