Director Atom Egoyan's 2005 film Where the Truth Lies
is laden with nudity, sex, violence, lies, blackmail, betrayalâ¦ and really, what more could you want? Other than some genuine tension, a more compelling story, and better acting, that is. In adapting Rupert Holmes' novel, the Cairo-born Egoyan (Ararat
, The Sweet Hereafter
) has taken on a murder mystery with film noir elements that will leave many viewers wondering exactly "whodunit" until the final few scenes; and while that's surely a good thing, the ride itself simply isn't all that scintillating. Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth star as a (Dean) Martin & (Jerry) Lewis-style team whose principal talents seem to consist mainly of pill-popping, soulless sex with a stream of nubile young women, and hosting an annual polio telethon. Fifteen years after their '50s heyday, journalist Karen O'Connor (Alison Lohman), who appeared on the telethon as a child, seeks out the pair to determine why they split up and, not coincidentally, what really happened to the dead girl with whom they had dallied the night before. Bacon is reasonably unctuous as the leering Lanny Morris; but Firth is uninspired as the more elusive Vince Collins, and although Lohman is game, she sometimes seems out of her depth in a role that calls for her to both seduce and be seduced, to manipulate and be manipulated. Egoyan, who also wrote the screenplay, has an eye for odd little details (much is made of Pan Am's first class dinner service, for instance) and an ear for great music (the soundtrack includes tunes by Charles Mingus, Louis Prima, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Funkadelic) and good dialogue ("Having to be a nice guy is the toughest job in the world when you're not"). But the film is curiously tepid; the sex is unconvincing, the mystery lacks a sense of danger, and the resolution is hardly shocking. One wishes that, having dipped into this genre, Egoyan had gone all out and made a film as delightfully sleazy as, say, Basic Instinct
. --Sam Graham
Product Description Starring Kevin Bacon (Beauty Shop, Mystic River), Colin Firth (Love Actually, Bridget Jones's Diary) and Alison Lohman (Big Fish, Matchstick Men), Where the Truth Lies is a suspenseful mystery from acclaimed director Atom Egoyan. In the '50s, Vince Collins (Firth) and Lanny Morris (Bacon) are the hottest showbiz duo in America. The combination of Lanny's brash American style and Vince's biting British wit is irresistible, especially to beautiful women. When a beautiful young woman, Maureen (Rachel Blanchard) is found dead in the bathtub of the duo's suite, their glittery world begins to crumble. They have rock solid alibis and are exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing; however, the scandal causes the once inseparable pair to part company. Fifteen years later, Karen O'Connor (Lohman), a young and ambitious journalist, is determined to uncover the secrets of the two men who, coincidentally, touched her life when she was a child. She persuades a publisher to offer a guarded Vince Collins one million dollars to collaborate with her on writing the untold story of his life with Lanny Morris. There is one condition: the truth must be told about the scandal that destroyed the duo. What really happened the night Maureen died? As Karen continues to search for many different truths-the truth about Vince and Lanny, the truth about Maureen's death, and even suppressed truths about herself- she becomes embroiled in a tense and bewildering game of cat-and-mouse.