I didn’t get more than a minute into the trailer for The Good Lie without thinking of The Blind Side. Not surprisingly at 1:21 into the trailer “From the executive producer of The Blind Side” appears on the screen. Clearly The Good Lie is going to be a similar film in many ways to The Blind Side – but will strike a chord with audiences the way Blind Side did?
The IMDB plot summary of The Good Lie is as follows: “A Sudanese refugee is taken in by a straight-talking American woman in their new home in the United States.”
Straight talking white woman helping African-American men in need. Check and check if you are looking for comparisons to The Blind Side. But The Good Lie also is following in the footsteps of a lot of popular crusader films: Erin Brockovich, Norma Rae, and Jeremy Renner’s upcoming film Kill the Messenger. Films that focus on an individual who takes on “the system” when they see a huge injustice will always be popular with audiences because they are quite simply inspiring and entertaining.
The Good Lie, like The Blind Side, is based on a true story of a woman who saw someone in trouble and instead of turning a blind eye to the problem, decided to try and help make things better. In this case the issue at hand is helping Sudanese refugees bring their sister to America. The red tape that prevents this is of course massive – the emotional payoff to the Sudanese family and Witherspoon’s character whether they succeed or not will also surely be huge.
The Good Lie was directed by Canadian Philippe Falardeau who directed Monsieur Lazhar, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 2012. Ron Howard and Brian Grazer produced the film which is always a good sign for me. They have a great nose for a good story and I am generally excited to see what films they are involved with.
Joining Reese Witherspoon in The Good Lie is Corey Stoll who was sensational in season 1 of House of Cards. Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal, and Nyakuoth Weil play the Sudanese refugees in the film – many of whom notably were children of war from Sudan before pursuing acting careers. I can’t help but think that their participation in the film will elevate the final result.