Reese Witherspoon Praised ‘The Good Lie’ Director for Balancing Sudanese Story Well
TORONTO—At the press conference for the upcoming Philippe Falardeau drama “The Good Lie,” his co-stars commended the Montreal filmmaker for doing a good job balancing the perspectives of the west and the African in this retelling of the story of “Lost Boys of Sudan.”
“I was so moved,” Witherspoon said about reading the script. But what the Hollywood actress admired most about the film was that there wasn’t this superior American perspective of the story, and that the film didn’t focus on her entirely.
Witherspoon said, if she didn’t meet with Falardeau and discussed the angle of the story to make sure it was balanced, she “would have never agreed to do the film.”
Witherspoon recalls that during that meeting, Falardeau indirectly told her,: “This movie has nothing to do with you.”
In fact the film didn’t even show scenes of American soil for the whole first third of the film.
Co-star Corey Stoll said that this was what attracted him to the project as well.
“We’re on page 30 and we’re still not in America,” Stoll said. He was sold on the script even before he got to his part.
“Phillipe Falardeau delicately threads the needle between humour and pathos,” Stoll added.
Sudanese actor Emmanuel Jal had a special connection to the script which he found difficult to read.
“It was like i was reading my own story,” Jal said. “It was painful for me,” he described his feelings while reading the script.
Falardeau, who had been to Sudan in the 90s when the famine was hard hitting, said it made sense for him to go back to Africa and tell the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan, a scene he experienced first hand.
“It was sort of a calling,” Falarduau said.
“Filippe is like a silent activist who speaks through his film,” Jal said adding that Falardeau “took a big risk” as a Canadian with telling a Sudanese story.