Where the Truth Lies (5/10)
by Tony Medley
Lanny Morris (Kevin Bacon) and
Vince Collins (Colin Firth) are like Rowan and Martin, a popular comic
duo, although it’s the ‘50’s, not the ‘60’s when Rowan and Martin reigned.
Alas, a young woman, Maureen (Rachel Blanchard) is found dead in their
hotel suite, resulting in the breakup of their partnership. Fifteen years
later a fledgling journalist, Karen O’Connor (Alison Lohman) wants to
write a book about Vince and resurrects the mystery surrounding their
breakup and Maureen’s death.
This doesn’t have an NC-17
rating for nothing. There is a lot of nudity and semi-graphic sexual acts.
Innuendo is apparently beyond director Atom Egoyan’s talent.
At 108 minutes, the film is far
too long, drags in parts, and jumps in and out of time frames so often one
gets dizzy. Worse, it doesn’t do a very good job of recreating the eras of
the late ‘50’s and early ‘70’s, which are the two covered. Oh, the clothes
and the cars are OK, but the ambience of the eras is completely missed.
It’s like we’re watching something take place in those two eras from the
safety of the 21st Century.
Also missing is the
Hitchcockian feeling of something sinister going on. Nothing to come close
to rivaling Joel McCrea approaching the old windmill in “Foreign
Correspondent” (1940), which caused your skin to crawl with the fear of
impending doom. Egoyan doesn’t know how to emulate Hitch’s ability to
create an ambience of terror through simple scene-setting, amplifying
normal sounds which can become sinister in themselves when there is no
background music. Karen is never felt to be in danger, even though she
puts herself in vulnerable situations. The people we suspect as being evil
don’t project a sense of danger. The film is simply devoid of a feeling of
The producers are trying to
entice customers by a poster showing Bacon and Firth looking at a girl who
has her naked back to us. She turns around in the movie so that nothing is
left to our imagination. Unfortunately, the abundant nudity doesn’t help.
Too bad that good acting by Bacon, Firth and Lohman are diminished by
Egoyan’s uninspired directing.
October 7, 2005