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White Lie

Canada 2019
produced by
Karen Harnisch, Yonah Lewis, Calvin Thomas, Katie Bird Nolan, Lindsay Tapscott, Greg Stewart (executive), Christina Piovesan (executive), Sumit Ajwani (executive), Jonathan Pottins (executive), Andrew Cividino (executive), Mark Gingras (executive), Dan Peel (executive), John Laing (executive) for Film Forge, Lisa Pictures, Babe Nation Films, Telefilm Canada, Crave, Istic Illic Pictures
directed by Yonah Lewis, Calvin Thomas
starring Kacey Rohl, Amber Anderson, Martin Donovan, Thomas Olajide, Connor Jessup, Sharon Lewis, Christine Horne, Darrin Baker, Zahra Bentham, Shanice Banton, Spencer Glassman, Hershel Blatt, Luc Trottier, Carolina Bartczak, Matthew Owen, Dedra McDermott, Julia Knope, Tameka Griffiths, Deborah Tennant, Jamillah Ross, Lanette Ware, Heather Sanderson, Jennifer Vallance, Murray Furrow, Dan Beirne, Charlie Zeltzer, Connor Lucas-Loan, James Madge, Vanessa Matsui, Bradley Van Rooi
written by Yonah Lewis, Calvin Thomas, music by Lev Lewis

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Katie (Kacey Rohl) is really the brightest star of her school: Instead of quietly suffering from her cancer she celebrates life, organizes ballet recitals with her as the center piece, and tries to inspire where she can. She also runs fundraisers for her treatment on the side, but that's only understandable and people are happy to chip in. There's just one little problem, Katie doesn't really have cancer, it's all just a grift to get her money and preferred treatment. It's still hard work though, and Katie's doing her best to cover all her bases, to the point where she doesn't even tell her girlfriend Jennifer (Amber Anderson) about her ruse. But over time she has built herself such an elaborate house of cards that it's almost certain to collapse with the slightest touch - and it gets terribly close when for a scholarship reserved for cancer patients, she needs to show her medical records. And while it doesn't take her long to find young Dr. Jordan (Thomas Olajide) to forge her records, he wants quite a bit of money - money she tries to get from her father (Martin Donovan) ... and that's just what it takes to spoil everything, because not only does dad refuse to help her, he doesn't believe her having cancer. Now the money for Dr. Jordan isn't the problem, she ultimately gets it from Jennifer and manages to sort things out just in time for submitting for the scholarship - but only a few days before her big fundraising event, dad posts the truth about her not having cancer on her social media, pretty much destroying everything she has worked for with one post. This of course hits her hard not only "professionally" but also personally, as Jennifer starts to believe her father more than her, and now Katie has to go into overdrive to fix things - but soon enough she has to question herself whether the cost isn't higher than what it's worth ...

 

Now somebody faking one's own cancer for gain sounds like the stuff of an inappropriate grifter comedy that's more likely than not to fail - but White Lie takes its premise very seriously, and treats tjhings in a realist way ... and actually that works out rather nicely thanks to a very grounded directorial approach, coupled with a screenplay that really works like exactly the clockwork a story like this requires. But what works probably better than everything just mentioned is that the film makes Katie into a relatable if fallible person, and even if the things she does are horrible, as a viewer one still feels compassion for her, wants her to succeed - also thanks to a very likeable performance by Kacey Rohl of course, supported by a solid ensemble. And all of this just makes for a really good watch.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
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you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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out now on DVD