Published Oct 01, 2005For some, Atom Egoyan's films tend to fall into two categories: movies titled The Sweet Hereafter and everything else he's ever directed. Unfortunately, Where the Truth Lies falls into the latter.
An adaptation of a Rupert Holmes novel, Where the Truth Lies is a whodunit? about a '50s showbiz duo (think Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin) whose career is cut short when a pesky corpse shows up in their hotel room. Neither man is outwardly accused of the murder but the story reverberates in the public mind for 20 years until the case is reopened by a young journalist (Alison Lohman). This journalist then interviews and has sex with everyone on Earth in an effort to find out what really happened that night.
While there are enough plot twists, revelations, character crossovers and timeline jumps to keep anyone involved, the whole package seems strangely superficial. The 1950s and 1970s sets are more bizarre than believable. Even the most central relationships are cold and unconvincing, due more to an underdeveloped script than bad acting.
The idea that a comedy act, as portrayed in the film (that is to say, as portrayed by Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon), could be enormously popular around the globe is so hard to buy into that the rest of the movie seems ridiculous by association.
Egoyan has somehow succeeded in making an NC-17 movie filled with drugs, fame, deception, pointless nudity and weird sex amount to little worth caring about. On the bright side, Where the Truth Lies is probably his most accessible movie to date. (Th!nk)