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Telling Lies in America

Where to Watch Telling Lies in America

PG-13
1997

Telling Lies in America is a compelling drama released in the year 1997, directed by Guy Ferland and featuring a cast that includes Kevin Bacon, Brad Renfro, and Maximilian Schell. This film draws its wisdom, humor and narrative depth from the semi-autobiographical script penned by renegade writer Joe Eszterhas, making it an engaging period piece within the tapestry of 1960s America.

The movie revolves around Karchy Jonas, played by the nuanced Brad Renfro, a Hungarian immigrant teenager trying to carve out his identity in a new land. Brought to life by the raw and evocative emotions of the then rising star, the character's journey is contextual in the rich storyline presenting the socio-cultural landscape of 1960s America. Simultaneously, the film highlights the spirit of an immigrant striving to fit into a world so remarkably different from his own, traversing the ocean of new relationships, heartbreaks, and life experiences.

Portraying the charismatic character of Billy Magic, a rogue radio DJ with magnetic allure is Kevin Bacon. With a suave demeanor and innate on-screen charisma, Bacon strives to deliver a layered performance as Billy Magic, walking a tightrope as the charming mentor and morally ambiguous friend to the earnest Karchy Jonas. The intricate ties and crucial dynamics between these two characters serve as the movie's emotional foundation, sprinkling hints of mentorship, friendship, and life lessons.

Maximilian Schell's portrayal of Dr. Istvan Jonas lends an undercurrent of authenticity to the plot. He does a commendable job of playing a father struggling to strike a balance between grounding his American-curious son in their cultural roots and navigating the challenges of their immigrant reality.

Set in Cleveland in the '60s, the narrative unfolds on a backdrop of the city's vibrant radio industry. With tales spun around the allure of radio, the film ignites nostalgic magic and infuses the classic appeal of the era which complements the storyline. Seeped in the essence of an era of rock and roll, the film has a vintage allure that lends it an attractive bandwidth, from the thematic to the aesthetic.

Telling Lies in America is as much a story about the pursuit of the American Dream as it is about growing up. It nimbly tugs on the strings of trials and tribulations that come with embodying teenage dreams, struggling to find acceptance, and grappling with life's grey areas. With friendship, coming-of-age, and aspirations at heart, the movie takes the audience on a reflective journey through tender emotions and harsh realities.

Although it primarily revolves around the lives of Karchy and Billy, the movie also masterfully delineates the co-existing world— the era of payola in the music business, the struggles and joys of migration, school life in the 60s, and more. It offers realistic insights into both the innocence of youth and the less glamorous facets of an influential industry.

The movie mirrors a significant timeframe of American society and culture, portraying the vibrancy of the music scene and the fevered popularity of radio jockeys, the destiny-altering power of representation while also giving voice to the immigrant experience in mid-century America. It's a charming tilt on the American dream through the eyes of a teenager, making it refrain from turning into a gritty drama or a far-fetched fiction. Instead, it manages to remain rooted in a set socio-cultural construct, beautifully balancing nostalgia with harsh realities.

Telling Lies in America unfolds as a compelling composition of moments that capture the spirit of adolescence, the intricate bonds of friendship, the push-and-pull of morality, and the high stakes of the American dream. The movie paints a brilliant canvas from its captivating beginning till the very end. It's a poignant rendition of crossing the bridge between adolescence and adulthood, dreams and reality, truth and lies.

Without giving too much away, Telling Lies in America builds a narrative of gripping slice-of-life instances, raw human emotions, and intense character arcs that are sure to capture the viewer's imagination. Layered performances, moving character dynamics, and an empathic storyline make it more than just a film - it's an experience, a story of a young boy living on the edge of adolescence and adulthood in an era of dreams and disillusionment.

Telling Lies in America is a Drama movie released in 1997. It has a runtime of 101 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.2. It also holds a MetaScore of 65.

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6.2/10
65/100
Director
Guy Ferland
Stars
Kevin Bacon, Brad Renfro, Calista Flockhart, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Luke Wilson
Genres
Also starring Brad Renfro
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