I do not have a great deal to say about Guillaume Canet‘s two-and-a-half-hour LITTLE WHITE LIES. It was, undeniably, adroit. I was mildly impatient with it before it won me over through sheer psychological manipulation.

This film about a group of vacationing friends, one of whose number has landed in the hospital with life threatening injuries from a motorbike accident, is adept at building up emotions based upon the absent person and letting those emotions loose at the very end. It is, to embrace a cliché, a tear-jerker par excellence, and on the way to that result there is a certain amount of wit and above all the presence of Marion Cotillard, who has the special ability to right the direction of scenes that might otherwise founder.

I grant that this is no rousing recommendation, but I did leave LITTLE WHITE LIES contemplating the power and import of friendship and impressed by the little things in art that make it a craft, like emotional arcs perfectly orchestrated, which the director pulls off in general and that Cotillard achieves in miniature, scene by scene.

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