Sunday, October 17, 2010

The truth apparently lies in a boring place

Where the Truth Lies (2005)
Starring: Kevin Bacon, Colin Firth, Alison Lohman, and David Hayman
Director: Atom Egoyan
Rating: Five of Ten Stars

A young journalist specializing in celebrity interviews (Lohman) sets out to uncover the mystery behind the events that broke up the successful 1950s comedy team of Collins & Morris. She discovers an underbelly of the entertainment industry that is even more filthy than she had imagined.

"Where the Truth Lies" has the makings of an excellent mystery in the film noir vein. It's got the story elements--a reporter on a quest, reclusive men of riches and power with dark secrets to hide, betrayal, sex, lust, greed... everything--and it has the shells of some very interesting characters.

But the potential here remains unrealized.

The director seems to be have been more interested in showing off the film's excellent set and costume design (the film is VERY effective at evoking the two different time periods it takes place in--the 1950s and the 1970s) and trying to get as much milage out of titilation and sleaze as possible instead of giving us reasons to care about the film's characters.

The end result is a very hollow feeling movie, and a movie that starts to feel boring and overlong when it should drawing the viewer in with suspenseful anticipation. Because we don't really care about the characters, we are barely interested in the mystery at the film's core at the end than we were at the beginning. By the time it enters into its second half, the dominating feeling is "get on with it!" instead of an anticipation of what happens next.

"Where the Truth Lies" is a very pretty film, but that's not enough to make it worth sitting through. I saw this film while sitting in a hotel room with nothing better to do but watch it, and I kept grabbing books to flip through. Even the hawt lesbian nookie (although gorgeously filmed) was not enough to stave off my growing boredom and irritation with the fact the film wasn't getting to its conclusion.

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