Film Review: Nobody Has To Know

While watching this film I could not help but think, what is the worst lie that I have ever told?

Nobody has to know is an unusual love story. It follows Phil and Millie, Phil is an immigrant who works on a remote Scottish island and after taking a stroke suffers from amnesia and Millie is the daughter of his employer, who uses his amnesia to convince them that they were secretly in love.

This was such a beautiful film, it was sweet and quite willing to take a slow pace while getting personal with the audience. And when I say personal I mean it in two different ways. On one hand, there is the bittersweet story about Phil and Millie, and on the other, there is the gorgeous camera work, which is never shy, but always avoids being intrusive. And I think that is the key to why I loved this film so much.

Performance-wise there are obviously two that I need to mention. First off there is Bouli Lanners, this Belgium actor is completely new to me, but I am looking forward to going through his previous works. It is hard to describe, but he did such an amazing job playing someone with amnesia, I particularly enjoyed seeing him explore his house for the first time, which was just fascinating. He played the entire role with a very reserved, yet kind of intense energy. And playing opposite him is the always brilliant Michelle Fairley, who brings this conflicted, yet beautiful and earnest feel to her role. Honestly, I thought I was going to hate her character but Fairley’s performance made her both likable and relatable.

Through her, we see Millie’s shame at the lie she has crafted, but then through Bouli Lanners+, we get this feeling that life is too short for shame and we should instead embrace love.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the gorgeous landscape. There is a certain rugged beauty to it. It is hard to describe its beauty but there is muted beauty to it and this muted charm melds perfectly with the subdued performances of the leads. The filming location also has this wonderful constant blowing wind and these gusts just add to the audio of the movie. While I am on the audio I will also mention the music, because this film has a wonderful score and makes excellent use of the song Sheets by Damien Jurado.

John Keats wrote that “Beauty is truth, truth beauty–that is all ye know on earth and all ye need to know.” But after watching this I have started to ponder about the beautiful lies that we sometimes tell ourselves and those around us. In the end, Nobody Has To Know is not only a subtle yet beautiful film but also one that will softly break your heart a thousand times over, but it will do so in such a way you will be thankful for it.

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