Little White Lies reviews LIFE   Leave a comment

Little White Lies reviews LIFE


Life is the story of two men pursuing their individual artistic callings against the grain of industry norms. Both Dennis Stock and James Dean died as glittering names in photojournalism and acting. But in 1955, when this film is set, neither was established.

“It’s an awkwardness, it’s something pure,” is what Dennis (Robert Pattinson) sees in Jimmy (Dane DeHaan). He is dying to get away from the red-carpet beat. In Dean, is the potential material for promotion to his desired field of serious, cultural photography. So begins the slippery business of pinning down the evasive but disarming boy from Marion, Indiana. Languid, conga-playing farmboy Jimmy, wants a friend, not a photographer. He’ll invite Dennis out for jazz and Benzedrine, dismissing the matter of professional engagements.

Dennis is his opposite. He is curt and minimal, essaying a very controlled, clock-watching professional. Pattinson’s performance is as crisp as the white shirt and black suits his character always wears, camouflage for problems that add depth to the film as they settle into shape.

[…]  As Life proceeds, Pattinson steps up, allowing more of his character’s insides to come out. The pace picks up and by the third act it’s a compelling dramatisation of an artistically and morally fascinating alliance.

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