Atom Egoyan’s latest film, which seems to be quite far removed, in plot at least, from his previous film, Ararat. If a few words could accurately sum up Egoyan’s obsessions and themes, it would be "where the truth lies" which would make this a nice opportunity to look back on Canada’s second best memory obsessed director, except I’m not feeling up for a retorspective.
There are some big problems with Where the Truth Lies; among them the characters, the acting, the amateurish direction, and the plot. None of these are beyond redemption, but parts of each are weak enough to end up being unsatisfying.
As John has mentioned, the film is supposed to depict a Martin-Lewis type showbiz team, but they seem closer to Rowan & Martin of Laugh-In. In fact, with his moustache, Colin Firth looks quite a bit like
Dick Martin Dan Rowan. Not that they should have been drawn to be MORE like Martin & Lewis, but with Martin & Lewis you understood their dynamic fast. With Kevin Bacon & Colin Firth, it’s really hard to tell why they would be a popular nightclub act at all, though the film tries through voice over and stage scenes to assure us they are.
And for a guy who used to depend on his actors to convey a lot of story with almost no dialogue, we get tons of dialogue and voiceover here. Too much. Part of it is to explain the nonlinear flashbacks and convoluted plot, but it was done so much more gracefully in The Sweet Hereafter, which was hardly a simple film, that this just suffers in comparison. Alison Lohan seems too young and lacks the gravitas needed to pull off a tough role of a journalist/ innocent / seductress. Again, it’s hard not to compare her to someone like Sarah Polley in Sweet Hereafter, who was excellent in that film.
All that said, this kept my attention, because I enjoyed watching Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth, and it makes me want to go back to Egoyan’s video-tape stalker film Felicia’s Journey with Bob Hoskins to see how it compares with Egoyan’s older video-tape stalker film, Speaking Parts. John – have you already seen this? I’d looked for it several months ago unsuccessfully, but it showed up at the video store recently.
(thought about putting this under the Jerry Lewis thread where it had been mentioned, but it’s got nothing to do with him really, and thought Egoyan desereved his own thread.)