Lie With Me

#Review – Lie With Me

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Lie With Me is an affecting and delicate queer love story from director Olivier Peyon, built around strong performances and the allure of the stunning Cognac region of western France. Familiar in its format it still offers plenty of interesting and enthralling story elements and some wonderfully coloured-in characters as it seeks to deliver a powerful message about love and regret. 

Split between two different timelines the narrative focus is Stéphane Belcourt as he returns to his hometown a successful author. Already brimming with trepidation about the excursion, a chance encounter dredges up a flood of poignant memories; pain and guilt and shame, but also pleasure & hidden desires.  

The duality of the role is handled excellently by both Jérémy Gillet as the younger Stéphane and Guillaume de Tonquédec as the older, more wistful Stéphane. Fine performances are turned in too by Julien De Saint Jean as Stéphane’s first love Thomas and his son Lucas, played by Victor Belmondo. While the younger pair have an enigmatic rawness – all stolen glances, furtive clandestine encounters and even raw anger to their relationship – it’s the bond between Stéphane and Lucas that resonates most. There’s a genuine delicate warmth that develops between them even as both seek resolutions to questions that ultimately may have no answer. 

As events unfold in both timelines it feels like the audience has been granted a window into the life of Stéphane at these pivotal junctures. Themes of solace and repression, forgiveness and denial are all investigated through Stéphane’s liaisons in his past and his present. 

Lie With Me is at its best when it’s exploring what it is to have to hide yourself away from the world and the toll such a heavy emotional burden like that can have. There’s anger and loathing bubbling under the surface but also a message of acceptance, fulfilment and joy. 

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