Reese Witherspoon finds lessons in 'The Good Lie'

Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:54pm EDT
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By Lesley Wroughton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon chose a subdued role in her latest film "The Good Lie," a drama about Sudanese refugee children who end up in America, but there is nothing small in what she hopes to convey.

"There is a beautiful message throughout: We are all the same," said Witherspoon, whose plays employment counselor Carrie Davis in the movie that made its Washington premiere on Wednesday.

"We all deal with conflict and seemingly bear the unbearable in our lives, but we have to do it together," she said of the story of children who flee Sudan's unrelenting ethnic violence. "We have to be there together. We have to be there for each other."

The film, by "Boardwalk Empire" writer Margaret Nagle and Canadian director Philippe Falardeau, stars Sudanese actors Arnold Oceng, Emmanuel Jal, Ger Duany and Kuoth Wiel - who each have a personal story about Sudan and its civil war.

Based on experiences of actual Sudanese refugees in the sprawling Kakuma camp in Kenya, the film begins with the journey of siblings who survive an attack on their village and walk hundreds of miles to a United Nations camp, gaining and losing companions along the way.

There they make it onto a humanitarian flight to the United States where the three men are resettled in a strange new land.

Witherspoon's character is as lost as the refugees for different reasons.


Actress Reese Witherspoon attends a news conference to promote the film "The Good Lie" at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Toronto, September 8, 2014.    REUTERS/Fred Thornhill