Lies and bonds
Mar Gómez Glez
Sweet Little Lies (2011)
Director: William J. Saunders
Plot summary: Bess, a lonely, trailer park teen, steals a car and makes a desperate journey from Kansas to Vegas in search of a father she never knew. Her trip takes her deep into the seedy underbelly of America where she encounters an array of lost-souls, deadbeats and con men, and learns that family can be found in the oddest of places
In 1939 Victor Flemming surprised the world with "The Wizard of Oz". In 2011 director William J Saunders, echoes this classic in his ambitious feature debut "Sweet Little Lies". The film premiered in Los Angeles on June 4 at the Dances With Films festival. It received the Audience Award and the Industry Choice Award. The success of this feature doesn't come as a surprise. The script, written by James Windeler, excels through its subtle ironies and elegant economy. Bess, a teenage misfit, looses her mother and finds herself alone in the world. She undertakes a trip from Kansas to Las Vegas searching for the father who abandoned them before she was born. She takes her little neighbor and only friend Waldo with her. Waldo is presented as a fragile child dependent on Bess for physical protection. As Dorothy travels with her ruby slippers along the yellow brick road, Bess speeds along it in a stolen cherry-colored vintage Mercury on the highway west. Roach, an ex con-man looking for redemption through his love for Suzy, joins the kids after stealing a ring from his dead mother's finger. A social worker and Waldo's brother pursue the three closely, forcing them into constant movement and the audience with them. This family friendly indie has the warmth you'd expect from the genre, but a closer viewing reveals surprising references to mythical and universal figures.
The magic is introduced through the humor of one of the most remarkable scenes. Waldo steals a chicken from a gas station, while the man behind the counter imagines he is able to catapult food with the power of his mind. This is the sign that alerts the audience to the games, the "lies" the film tells, hiding a world of symbolism. In the following scene, Waldo and Bess break the wishbone. Waldo's wish, revealed later, is that Bess finds her father. From now on Waldo progressively transforms from sidekick Toto to the Wizard of Oz himself. He is the spiritual guide of this trip, the guardian angel that protects Bess and anyone close to her. He is the one with the power to create, inside the film, his own world and characters. Like a little Pan, Waldo descends from Olympus to nudge Bess along her way. He sets the fire that ignites their adventure. To him we owe the most lyrical moments of the film. Waldo constructs and plays with little figurines made out of wire that open the movie to the realm of fantasy.
This is a movie about friendship, about a search for love and connection, and Waldo's softness reveals itself as the only possible path. His exposed vulnerability reminds us our own fragility. Waldo's magic melts Bess and Roach's toughness. Only without their armor they will achieve their most intimate desire: companionship. As the sweetest little lie this road movie tricks us. So if you thought you were only going to watch a family drama, get ready. Maybe inside this magical film you will find your own yellow brick road home, to a place where friendship bonds are simply stronger.
|2011-12-19 14:27:13_ How crazy and cool the director of the "Sweet Little Lies" is if he made all this crazy reference to the "Wizard of Oz". Pretty cool. Man, I would include few story lines in my term papers for college.|
|2012-09-18 15:34:20_ an array of lost-souls, deadbeats and con men, and learns that family can be found in the oddest of places Search Engine Optimisation|