Miracles are made by people who refuse to stop believing.
The 2014 movie “The Good Lie” follows the story of three Sudanese refugees, Mamere, Jeremiah, and Paul (played by Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, and Emmanuel Jal), who, along with their sister, Abital (played by Kuoth Wiel), escape from their village after it is attacked by a militia group. After months of traveling through Africa on foot, they eventually arrive at a refugee camp in Kenya.
Years later, the group is selected to be resettled in the United States, where they are placed in Kansas City. Reese Witherspoon plays the role of Carrie Davis, the employment agency representative who helps them integrate into American society. The movie follows their struggles as they grapple with cultural differences, language barriers, and trauma from their past.
As the refugees adapt to their new lives in America, they continue to maintain a strong bond with each other that helps to keep them grounded. However, they soon discover that the process of building a new life comes with its own set of challenges. While they begin to achieve some success and find jobs, their efforts to bring their sister to the United States are complicated by legal hurdles and bureaucratic red tape.
Throughout the movie, the characters deal with cultural misunderstandings, financial struggles, and personal growth. Together, they navigate through the difficulties of adjusting to American culture while trying to maintain their own identity and keep their past lives alive.
Overall, “The Good Lie” is an inspiring and poignant story of resilience and the power of human spirit. The movie packs an emotional punch and portrays the refugee experience in a powerful and empathetic manner.
Reese Witherspoon as Carrie Davis
Reese Witherspoon’s portrayal of Carrie Davis is both heartfelt and nuanced.
Carrie is an employment agency representative who helps the Sudanese refugees adapt to their new lives in America, and Witherspoon brings both empathy and a sense of realism to the character.
Witherspoon effectively conveys the challenges that Carrie faces as a white American trying to understand and help the Sudanese refugees integrate into American culture. She delivers her lines with sincerity and warmth, making it clear that she genuinely cares about the refugees and is committed to helping them succeed.
One of the most impressive aspects of Witherspoon’s performance is the way she balances Carrie’s strength and vulnerability. She is both determined and compassionate, resourceful and caring. Witherspoon brings a depth to the character that makes her feel realistic and relatable.
Moreover, Witherspoon’s on-screen chemistry with the refugees is evident, making their relationship feel authentic and heartfelt. Additionally, her character’s personal growth and development throughout the movie feel genuine and natural, as she learns from the refugees and their experiences.
Overall, Reese Witherspoon’s performance in “The Good Lie” is a testament to her acting skills, her ability to create complex characters, and her dedication to telling empathetic and authentic stories. She brings depth and humanity to the character of Carrie Davis, making her an important part of the film’s overall impact.
The other characters
Here’s more about the main characters in “The Good Lie”:
1. Mamere is the oldest of the four Sudanese refugees and is portrayed as a mature and responsible young man. He takes on a fatherly role to his younger siblings, Paul, Jeremiah, and Abital, and is shown as a natural leader. Mamere aspires to get an education and become a doctor, hoping to return to Sudan one day to help rebuild his country.
2. Paul is the youngest of the four refugees and is depicted as the most vulnerable of the group. He is traumatized by the loss of his family but finds comfort in his newfound family and his faith in God.
3. Jeremiah is a charismatic and optimistic young man who is always looking for opportunities to improve his situation. He is portrayed as having a natural talent for sales and business and dreams of starting his own company one day.
4. Abital is the only woman in the group and is depicted as strong-willed and independent. She frequently challenges the gender stereotypes that limit women in Sudanese culture and is determined to forge her own path in life.
Together, these characters form a close bond and rely on each other to navigate challenges and find their place in the new culture. Their individual stories and the themes explored in the movie, like resilience, community, sacrifice, and the intersection of cultures, make “The Good Lie” a moving and powerful depiction of the refugee experience.
Is The Good Lie movie based on a true story?
Yes, “The Good Lie” is based on a true story.
The film was inspired by the experiences of several real-life Sudanese refugees who were relocated to the United States in the early 2000s. The movie tells the story of four Sudanese refugees who escape their war-torn country and eventually end up in the United States, where they struggle to adapt to their new culture. The film depicts the hardships and challenges that refugees face, including cultural differences, isolation, and trauma.
While the story and characters are fictional, the film touches on the poignant and moving journey of displacement, as well as the strength and resilience of refugees who seek a new life in a foreign country.
Did The Good Lie win any awards?
Yes, “The Good Lie” received several nominations and awards, including:
– Nominated for the Humanitas Prize for best screenplay in the “Feature” category
– Won the Best Film Award at the Heartland Film Festival
– Nominated for Outstanding Independent Motion Picture at the NAACP Image Awards
– Won the Bridging the Borders Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival
– Won the Cinema for Peace Award for the Most Valuable Movie of the Year
– Nominated for Best Ensemble Cast Performance at the Screen Actors Guild Awards
– The Paul Selvin Award
Overall, the movie received critical acclaim for its moving storyline, powerful performances, and thought-provoking themes.
Why is it called The Good Lie?
“The Good Lie” is a phrase commonly used in Sudanese culture to describe the act of telling a lie for a greater good.
In the movie, the term symbolizes the refugees’ struggle to adapt to their new environment while still trying to maintain their identity and cultural values. The phrase is also a nod to the Sudanese refugees’ experience of being forced to lie about their background to gain entry into the United States, as well as the lies they have to tell to survive their journey as refugees.
Additionally, the movie’s title is an acknowledgment of the Sudanese refugees’ dignity and the goodness inherent in their perseverance through an immensely challenging journey.
What is the African proverb in The Good Lie?
The African proverb in “The Good Lie” is a phrase used repeatedly throughout the movie by characters who are seeking to find a new path in life. The proverb is “When the music changes, so does the dance.” This proverb means that when the situation changes, people must adapt and change their ways to suit the new circumstances.
The proverb acts as a metaphor for the Sudanese refugees’ journey, as they try to navigate the complexities of their new life in America while still holding on to their cultural traditions. It also serves as a reminder that change is inevitable and that one must remain adaptable to overcome the obstacles and challenges that arise in life. By using the proverb in the movie, the characters are expressing the importance of resilience, flexibility, and the ability to evolve as circumstances change.
What happened to Theo in The Good Lie?
In “The Good Lie,” Theo is one of the four Sudanese refugees trying to adjust to life in the United States. He is portrayed as the most troubled of the group, frequently getting into trouble with the law and struggling to come to terms with his traumatic past.
In the movie, Theo eventually gets involved in a gang and starts selling drugs, which leads to his arrest. After being released from prison, Theo becomes deeply ashamed of his actions and embarks on a journey of self-redemption. He reaches out to his refugee friends for help, and they rally around him, supporting him with their love and friendship.
Soon after, it’s revealed that Theo has tragically died of an overdose, leaving his friends devastated. His friends come together to honor him and remember him at a memorial service, also realizing the importance of supporting one another through good times and bad. Theo’s story in the movie portrays the challenges faced by many refugees who struggle to adjust to life in a new country, highlighting the importance of community and support networks in times of difficulty.
Where was The Good Lie filmed?
“The Good Lie” was filmed on location in Atlanta and South Africa.
The scenes set in Sudan and Kenya were filmed in various locations in South Africa, including the small village of Brandvlei, located in the Northern Cape Province. The crew also filmed in Johannesburg and other locations throughout South Africa to capture the African landscape and the look of the Sudanese refugee camps.
Meanwhile, the scenes set in the United States were shot in and around Atlanta, with some scenes filmed in Dekalb County Jail in Georgia.
Overall, the movie’s location captures the transition from the harsh environment of Africa to the cultural and financial prosperity of the United States.
How was The Good Lie received by movie critics?
“The Good Lie” received generally positive reviews from critics.
The movie was appreciated for its heartfelt narrative and empathetic storytelling. The cast’s performances were also widely praised, with particular attention given to the chemistry between the actors and their ability to convey the emotions of their characters convincingly.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the movie has a 86% approval rating with an average score of 7.14/10 based on 115 reviews. The critical consensus reads, “The Good Lie sacrifices real-life nuance in order to turn its true story into a Hollywood-style heartwarmer, but the results still add up to a compelling, well-acted tribute to the courage of refugees.”
Meanwhile, on Metacritic, the movie has a score of 65 out of a 100 based on 30 reviews, indicating “generally favorable reviews.”
BoxOfficeMojo has some good critical info as well.
Overall, “The Good Lie” was considered a poignant and endearing depiction of the refugee experience, touching on thought-provoking themes like cultural intersection and post-traumatic stress disorder. It was appreciated for its emotional honesty and the authenticity of performances portraying the real Sudanese in African Refugee camps.
An objective take on the movie
At times, the movie may feel a little sentimental, and some of the themes may be overly romanticized. A few critics have accused the movie of oversimplifying the refugee experience, and others have questioned its portrayal of the US government and their approach to refugee resettlement. However, these issues do not detract from the overall excellence of the movie, and “The Good Lie” remains a powerful and moving testament to the tenacity and resilience of the human spirit.
Overall, “The Good Lie” is a beautiful and uplifting story that is well worth watching. The outstanding performances, gripping storyline, and authentic portrayal of the refugee experience make it a must-see for any film lover who is looking for an emotional and uplifting movie experience.