Bill Cunningham’s Film of the Week is the thriller The Good Liar:
This week I am focusing on performances by two of our National Treasures – Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen in the crime thriller, The Good Liar, which was dubbed the most underrated film of 2019.
While the pair had worked together on stage this is their first film appearance together. For the jovial McKellen, best known perhaps as the wizard Gandalph in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Mirren for her role as The Queen, both have enjoyed careers with a multitude of stage and screen roles and this comes over as a terrific acting duel.
In The Good Liar McKellen plays Ray Courtnay, a crafty career con man who preys on wealthy widows and gullible businessmen with the aid of his close friend Vincent (played by Jim Carter). Courtnay finds a wealthy target in Betty McLeish (Helen Mirren) through an on-line dating service and soon exerts his charm, worming his way into her affections despite the suspicions of her grandson played by Russell Tovey. But all is not what it seems, as the plot twists come thick and fast.
Ian McKellen also played a baddie in The Da Vinci Code and Richard III and he is again superb while Helen Mirren exudes sexual charm. The joy of the film is in watching two brilliant actors having fun in a film that intrigues and entertains. The film had mixed reviews on release, but I agree that it is underrated. You can watch it on Sky Movies or from Amazon Prime and on DVD formats