THE GOOD LIAR—A Twisted Take On Love

Roy Courtnay (played by Ian McKellen) sits next to Betty McLeish (played by Helen Mirren) at a table inside a restaurant in The Good Liar (2019)

Coming to Regal on November 15th is the on-screen power couple that we didn’t know we needed. In this match made in heaven (or quite possibly hell), we find Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren who are pitting their wits against each other for The Good Liar, a thriller by director Bill Condon that takes a whole new spin on the mystery and dangers of love (not to mention, online dating). 

The Good Liar centers around a high stakes love affair as long-time con artist Roy Courtnay (McKellen) sets his sights on the recent well-to-do widow, Betty McLeish (Mirren) after meeting her online. Worth millions, McLeish has become Courtnay’s biggest target yet, but his plans to swindle the seemingly soft-hearted Betty come to a halt when he finds himself developing feelings for her. But, as you may guess, Betty may not be all that she appears to be. 

The Good Liar-Ian McKellen
Roy Courtnay (Ian McKellen) in The Good Liar (2019)

As one might gather from the trailer, Mirren’s character may be sitting on a few secrets of her own and may be onto Courtnay’s games, if not playing a few of her own; for the first time, Roy may have bitten off more than he can chew. And that’s all part of the fun—we can never really tell who is the cat and who is the mouse in this twisted chase of greed and desire until (what we expect to be) a big reveal!  

As the plot continues to boil, we find that there may be a few larger, yet more subtle, themes at play in The Good Liar. When Roy admits that he may be playing this con game for the thrill rather than for the money, this may hint at the overarching theme of seeking livelihood in the face of aging loneliness. Yet these twists and turns aren’t the only reason that The Good Liar is such a unique movie. 

The Good Liar-Helen Mirren
Betty McLeish (Helen Mirren) in The Good Liar (2019)

Due to its casting and overall story, the adapted screenplay from the novel by Nicholas Searle, The Good Liar, has the potential to be a rewarding thriller that will target both younger and older audiences. As Helen Mirren admitted in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, “It’s nice to do a film about old people that’s not about Alzheimer’s or cancer, if you know what I mean.”

This one-of-a-kind “love” story is sure to give us all some emotional whiplash as this pair of movie royalty face off in The Good Liar, coming to Regal this Friday, November 15th.

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