Eye For Film >> Movies >> Where The Truth Lies (2005) Film Review
It lies in the imagination of the investigator; it lies in the conscience of the participants; it lies in the grave.
Atom Egoyan is not a journeyman director. You won't get a safe, formulaic piece of work out of him. He's an auteur, an artist, a dangerous talent. He has been dubbed Canada's David Lynch, which is a lazy way of saying he likes to footle around beneath the facade of respectability. Sex, with its myriad variations, is where he finds his home.
Lanny Morris (Kevin Bacon) and Vince Collins (Colin Firth) are the most unlikely and, frankly, incredible comedy duo in the Fifties. Most famous for their annual Polio Telethon on TV, when for 30 hours non-stop they cajole, entertain and persuade the great American public to give generously for kids suffering from the pandemic of the day, they bask in a grateful nation's admiration and affection.
Where The Truth Lies is not a sneak preview into how their private lives are mirror opposites of their public personas, although it could have been, slipping effortlessly into the sick bastard clown category of showbiz expose flicks. It's about Maureen O'Flaherty (Rachel Blanchard) and why she ended up naked and dead in an empty bathtub in Lanny and Vince's New York hotel suite.
Twenty years later in LA, the double act is well and truly over and budding journo Karen O'Connor (Alison Lohman), who, as a child, appeared on the Polio Telethon, totally in awe of her heroes, begins an investigation into what happened to Lanny and Vince and how Maureen died.
A straightforward whodunit, you might think. Sorr - y! This is an Atom Egoyan movie and nothing is ever that simple.
By shuffling time, using two narrative voice overs - Karen and Lanny - and undressing the facts with seductive grace, his adaptation of Rupert Holmes' novel takes on a life of its own, in which sex is an essential component. Cinematically, the film is gripping, with Lohman's performance a standout. The problem lies with Bacon and Firth, neither of whom have the instincts, timing or predilection for comedy.
"Having to be a nice guy is the hardest thing," Lanny tells Karen, "when you're not."
Firth, however, looks so far out of his depth, he's drowning.Reviewed on: 01 Dec 2005