Film Review: The Good Liar

Powerhouse actors Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren star in this psychological thriller.

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Any film featuring both Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren is going to be worth watching for the acting masterclass alone.

The Good Liar certainly supports that theory, with both these veteran performers in top form.

Director Bill Condon has chosen a psychological thriller for this latest outing, with screenplay by Jeffrey Hatcher, based on Nicholas Searle’s novel.

Betty McLeish is a multi-millionaire widower, looking for companionship on a dating site. She meets Roy Courtnay (McKellen) and the two click immediately, much to the horror of McLeish’s grandson Stephen played by the wonderful Russell Tovey. Unbeknowst to Betty, Courtnay is in fact a con-man out for her money, although Stephen has his suspicions. Also part of the mix is Courtnay’s offsider, Vincent, beautifully portrayed by the ubiquitous Jim Carter.

In the honoured tradition of the psychological thriller, there are twists aplenty and nothing is quite as it seems. It certainly fulfills its duty to the genre. The plot possibly gets a little bit over-done in parts, but that never detracts from the enjoyment. The interaction between Mirren and McKellen is worth the price of admission on its own.

This is an extremely enjoyable and tight piece of work, with the right balance of tension and humour.

If Hitchcock were alive today, he might have fought Condon for the rights!

The Good Liar opens on December 5th.

TWISTS APLENTY 4 stars

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