I liked Where The Truth Lies. When I said this to another
reviewer, one who writes rings around me, he said, “Really?
That’s interesting.” Um. Interesting. The word
my mother-in-law uses in place of the more accurate, “fucked
up.” Here’s how you can find yourself giving three stars
to a fair-to-middlin’ (but interesting) movie.
1. You appreciate sexual candor on film.
2. You appreciate murder-mysteries, of which there have not been
a plethora lately, even ones that even you can solve.
3. You appreciate the ever-deepening talents of Mr. Kevin
4. You appreciate opportunities to ponder what Mr. Atom
Egoyan thinks about.
5. You appreciate, in fact never quite outgrew, the whole girl-sleuth,
Nancy Drew thing.
I haven’t read Holmes’s novel, which,
as every review will tell you, was written by the guy who wrote
the “Pinña Colada Song.” The story is a bit thin,
cuz, you know, he’s Rupert, not Sherlock. It doesn’t
take much to figure it out—not only the motive, but the mechanism.
If the movie’s tale is an accurate reflection of the novel,
and I’d spent a couple hundred pages and a few hours with
this book, I’d have been annoyed. Which makes it a good candidate
for filmisation; it’s short-attention-span material. And Egoyan
has a way with texts. I’m a great admirer of his movie The
Sweet Hereafter. I’d loved Russell Banks’
extremely sad novel, and approached the movie with trepidation.
There, Egoyan took some liberties with the story, even introducing
a motif that he came up with on his own. It was note-perfect, capturing
the mood of the book so well that this is one of a handful of movies
that I like equally as well as the source material. Can’t
say I’m curious to read this book, which received starred
reviews in library selection journals, though I did fall into a
reverie after watching, wondering what recommended this tale to
Mr. Egoyan’s notice. It’s the story of comedy duo Morris
and Collins, stand-ins of course for Martin and Lewis,
and the ambitious girl-reporter who comes along 15 years later to
investigate the duo’s break-up, which had something to do
with a telethon and a dead girl in a hotel bathtub. It has the allure
of one of those Tinseltown rumors, hush-hush and on the QT, being
exposed for all us folks out in Peoria.
Kevin Bacon just gets better and better. Who knew, when we were
watching Tremors (Which ain’t bad. Really.), that
one day we’d say Kevin Bacon, Thespian. Here is an actor with
a serious grasp of the terrain of sexuality (esp. the Plains of
Dissolution). I’m going to say that any project that doesn’t
play to this guy’s wheelhouse is a waste of Kevin Bacon.
Speaking of waste, Lohman isn’t believable;
in fact none of the women are well served here. The guys, on the
other hand, have nice, meaty roles and make the most of them. Colin
Firth is rather good at this sort of thing, the gentlemanly
chap who isn’t quite. If you only know him in his Mr. Darcy/smoldering
romantic idol persona, check out earlier stuff like Apartment
Zero. I have high hopes for a return to Coen Brothers
form when Firth recreates the Michael Caine role
in next year’s remake of Gambit.
The movie was released unrated because of a sex scene that couldn’t
get past the MPAA. That raised a lot of expectations for me, but
I have to tell you, the scene is neither shocking nor particularly
unexpected. But still welcome, don’t get me wrong. Like Jello,
there’s always time for B movies. Who’d have thunk arthouse
prince Atom Egoyan would make one?