Two seventeen year old boys fall in love in small-town France. One leaves for America to pursue his dream of becoming a writer and living a life true to himself. The other stays back, weighed down by obligations toward his family farm, and maybe because of a lack of courage to come out. Thirty-five years later the writer returns to find his lover has died, but also that a handsome young man, his son, is insinuating himself into the writer's life under false pretences.
The more accurate translation of this film's title isn't Lie With Me but Stop With Your Lies, or Stop Making Up Stories. And everyone in this film is lying. Stephane, the author, is lying about what Thomas meant to him, and why he writes, and fearful of publishing something that truly deals with what happened. Thomas lied his whole life about his sexuality, but also left enough clues for his son Lucas to figure it out. And Lucas lies about his obsession with finding out until he is exposed.
The resulting film is gentle, elegant, beautiful and moving but also rather slow, plodding and obvious. It never really captured my heart. It felt rather safe and anaemic and gentle. The novel upon which it is based is apparently a best-seller so I may try that instead.
LIE WITH ME played BFI Flare 2023 and is currently on release in the UK. It has a running time of 93 minutes.