Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Where the Truth Lies

It's hard to believe that this film by Atom Egoyan had been the object of a controversy in the USA. In fact, remember that the MPAA rated this film NC-17 for its few sex scenes. Aside from that detail, Where the Truth Lies is a seductive thriller that knows how to use each and every single asset of its script.

Vince Collins (Colin Firth) abnd Lanny Morris (Kevin Bacon) form an acclaimed comedy duo. At the end of the 1950s, they're at the top of their shape. The day before they perform at a telethon for children with polio (and survivors of it), Maureen O'Flaherty (Rachel Blanchard), a college student, is found dead in their hotel suite. Although Lanny and Vince are cleared, they call it quits and their career go into decline. Fifteen years later, Karen O'Connor (Alison Lohman), a young journalist, plans to write a book on what happened to Maureen that very night. Besides, Karen's publisher is willing to pay Vince $1 million.

The obvious strength of this film is its ability to use all its assets from its script. It starts as a film noir and develops itself into a psychological maze. Although the few sex scenes seriously disturbed those pen pushers at the MPAA because of their explicitness, they sure play an important role in defining the characters. Since the film keeps all the elements of surprise at the end, one may use these scenes to understand how Maureen's death more than affected Lanny and Vince.

Speaking about the performance, I personally found Alison Lohman's performance decent. Did some people dislike her performance just because she's too young? Well, you just tell me. Anyway, as for Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon, they're all excellent. Both of these men's performance allows us to truly see characters who have something to hide.

Finally, I won't go any further, because I don't want to give away too many details on the film. While the film leaves enough clues for us to understand the murder it manages to stay unpredictable and plausible at the same time.

Rating: 4/5

Origin: Canada/UK (2005)
Length: 107 minutes
Genre: Erotic thriller
Screenplay: Atom Egoyan
Director: Atom Egoyan
Starring: Alison Loham, Kevin Bacon, Colin Firth, David Hayman and Kristin Adams

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