Billy Liar

1963 comedy

Rating: 17/20

Plot: Billy lies, probably because he's a liar. He leads a pair of women on while fawning for a third, is dishonest with his employer, and makes up imaginary writing opportunities. Will all his fibs finally catch up with him?

I don't know what's going on with that poster. The movie is a lot better than that poster. I guess you'd put it in the dark comedy category, but it wasn't all that funny. Instead, it's a character study of this titular character who really draws you in. Tom Courtenay plays him, and he helps create this engaging character. It's also a versatile performance as Courtenay's forced to maneuver this character back and forth between reality and a handful of Walter Mitty-esque fantasy sequences. Those recall a few British films, but this predates the ones I'm thinking about and still feels original anyway. I just love those English characters who are in no way likable and in some ways even detestable (think Alex in Clockwork) but still manage to make you root for them.

What's with all the shots of building demolition in this? I'm sure something's being symbolically torn down and maybe not replaced with anything, but I'm not sure what it is.

I really liked Julie Christie, who played one of Billy's love interests. I think I fell in love with her myself during a scene where she does this little playful walk.

I'd wanted to see this jazzy little movie for a while, and it was worth the wait.

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