Directed by: Michael Cuesta
Written by: Stephen M. Ryder, Michael Cuesta, & Gerald Cuesta
Starring: Paul Dano, Brian Cox, Bruce Altman, and Billy Kay
Watching L.I.E. reminds you of what the American Independent Cinema first set out to do; it’s of full moral ambiguity within a premise that would never in a million years be green-lit by a Hollywood studio. Looking at recent indie fluff like Juno or any of its brightly colored siblings makes the often edgy facade of independent movies seem like they’re losing touch, never mind the quality.
L.I.E. stars Paul Dano in what is still his most daring role. His excellent performances in Little Miss Sunshine and There Will Be Blood almost seem safe next to his role as Howie, a gay, misguided 15-year-old who becomes romantically entangled with a much, much older man. If Dano is daring, than Brian Cox is fearless on an almost unparalleled level as that older man.