Where the Truth Lies (Canada/UK/USA; 108 min.)


directed by: Atom Egoyan
starring: Kevin Bacon; Colin Firth; Alison Lohman
Where the Truth Lies
 
Michael says: "It’s always an event for me when my favorite filmmaker, Atom Egoyan, puts out a new film. WHERE THE TRUTH LIES is a period piece and a murder mystery based on a novel by Rupert Everett. It’s an odd choice for Egoyan, despite its central theme of the truth and its concealment, common themes of his films. While it doesn’t reach the heights of his masterpieces THE SWEET HEREAFTER or ARARAT, WHERE THE TRUTH LIES is clearly the work of a master filmmaker. In many ways, TRUTH is Atom’s attempt at a more mainstream film. It stars two relatively big-name actors (Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth) and follows a fairly standard (albeit time-jumping) mystery plotline. Yet the work of an artist is clearly evident in the startling set decoration and cinematography used to recreate two very distinct eras, the 1950’s and the early 1970’s. Everything from the costumes and sets to the terrific scoring is carefully crafted to echo the films of those eras.

"The film revolves around a performing duo reminiscent of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. They were at the top of their game when the body of a woman was found in their hotel room. The two parted ways and never performed together again. A young journalist arrives on the scenes many years later to uncover the truth about what happened to the two performers and why they stopped performing. What she finds and becomes embroiled in is a tale of scandalous sexuality and labyrinthine deceptions.

"Bacon and Firth are terrific in the two lead roles. I was concerned that their popular appeal might undercut the power of Egoyan’s milieu, but both do a great job melting into their roles. Alison Lohman is in slightly over her head as the hotshot journalist trying to uncover this story. There were a few moments when I didn’t quite buy it from her. Canadian film fans (and you know who you are) will revel in the delightful scene Egoyan inserts with a trio of his traditional acting stable (Arsinée Khanjian, Don McKellar, Gabrielle Rose.) It’s a definite wink to the fans of his work. Still, the joy of this film comes from Egoyan’s assured directorial hand. His artistic touch lifts the material into a higher realm while still providing some straightforward appeal. Anyway, it sure worked for me. 4 ½ cats"