Film

Reese Witherspoon tackles Sudan unrest, immigration and despair in The Good Lie trailer

After layering a few romantic-comedies into her career, Reese Witherspoon is returning to a dramatic role in ‘The Good Lie,’ the story of a young family Orphaned by Civil war in Sudan back in 1983. After the war devastated their lives, the children traveled thousands of miles (on foot) to find sanctuary from the war, only to meet a humanitarian effort that would bring 3600 “lost boys and girls” to America.
 
In “The Good Lie,” Philippe Falardeau, (writer and director of the Oscar®- nominated Foreign Language film “Monsieur Lazhar”) brings the story of their survival and triumph to life. Academy Award® winner Reese Witherspoon (“Walk the Line”) stars alongside Sudanese actors Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal, and newcomer Nyakuoth Weil, many of whom were also children of war.
 
Mamere and Theo are sons of the Chief in their village in Southern Sudan. When an attack by the Northern militia destroys their home and kills their parents, eldest son Theo is forced to assume the role of Chief and lead a group of young survivors, including his sister Abital, away from harm. But the hostile, treacherous terrain has other dangers in store for them.
 
As the tattered group makes the difficult trek to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, they meet other fleeing children, forging a bond with Jeremiah, who, at 13, is already a man of faith, and Paul, whose skills become essential to their survival.
 
Thirteen years later, the now young adults are given the opportunity to leave the camp and resettle in America. Upon arriving in Kansas, they are met by Carrie Davis (Witherspoon), an employment agency counselor who has been enlisted to help find them jobs—no easy task, when things like straws, light switches and telephones are brand new to them.
 

 
Although Carrie has successfully kept herself from any emotional entanglements, these refugees, who desperately require help navigating the 20th century and rebuilding their shattered lives, need just that. So Carrie embarks on her own unchartered territory, enlisting the help of her boss, Jack (Corey Stoll).
 
Together, against the backdrop of their shared losses, the Lost Boys and these unlikely strangers find humor in the clash of cultures, and heartbreak as well as hope in the challenges of life in America.
 
Along with Witherspoon, the film stars Corey Stoll (TV’s “House of Cards”); real-life Sudanese refugees Arnold Oceng (BBC’s “Grange Hill”) and newcomer Nyakuoth Wiel; Ger Duany (“I Heart Huckabees”) and rapper Emmanuel Jal, who were both former child soldiers and lost boys; and Femi Oguns (BBC’s “The Casualty”). Rounding out the cast are Sarah Baker as volunteer Pamela Lowi; Mike Pniewski as Mamere’s boss; and children of real-life Sudanese refugees Peterdeng Mongok, Okwar Jale, Thon Kueth, Beng Ajuet and Kejo Jale as the younger lost boys.
 
Falardeau directs from a screenplay by Margaret Nagle (HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”). The producers are Academy Award® winners Ron Howard and Brian Grazer (“A Beautiful Mind”), Karen Kehela Sherwood (“Frost Nixon”), Molly Mickler Smith (“The Blind Side”), Thad Luckinbill, and Trent Luckinbill. Oscar® nominees Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson (“The Blind Side”), Kim Roth, Ellen H. Schwartz, Deepak Navar, and Bobby and Deb Newmyer are the executive producers.
 
Falardeau reunites with his “Monsieur Lazhar” director of photography Ronald Plante and composer Martin Léon. His behind-the-scenes team also includes production designer Aaron Osbourne (“The Losers”), editor Richard Comeau (“War Witch”), and costume designer Suttirat Anne Larlarb (“Slumdog Millionaire”), with casting by Mindy Marin.
 
The film has been rated PG-13 and is set to release on October 3, 2014.