A journalist with a reputation for celebrity exposes tries to uncover the truth behind the break-up of a famous comedy duo after a woman was found dead in their hotel room. — Genre: Feature Film-Drama — Rating: R — Release Da... more »te: 3-APR-2007
Jennifer D. (jennicat) from ST AUGUSTINE, FL Reviewed on 1/27/2015...
It went kind of slow at first and you really had to pay attention. By the end I was so surprised at what happened. A twist you never knew would happen.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Harold G. (Gig) from HOUSTON, TX Reviewed on 5/27/2011...
I didn't know what to expect when this movie started, as the opening scene had a comedy team hosting a telethon. I am not suggestng for one minute that what ensued had any relation whatsover to the true lives of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis but it was quite evident that they were the inspiration for the screenplay.
If I had seen Colin Firth in anything earlier, I can't remember what it might have been but in this he was spectacular as was Kevin Bacon. I found it rather coincidental that Kevin should be playing the "Lewis counterpart" of the team as several yeas ago I thought that if they ever made a movie of Martin & Lewis, he should have been cast as Jerry
When he they did make a TVM, they cast Sean Hayes, who while I suppose he is a capable enough actor, I found it rather difficult to separate him from the Jack character he played on "Will & Grace". Jeremy Northum as Dino was terribly miscast.
Back to this film though,I thought the two principal actresses offered excellent support.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Behind the Facade
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 10/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In what seems, at first glance, to be a death defying, jaw-dropping appeal to make himself more marketable to the general public by adapting a novel by the man who wrote and sang the insipid "Pina Colada Song," prodigiously talented director Atom Egoyan ("The Sweet Hereafter," "Ararat") outsmarts and certainly out-directs those that would make him Steven Spielberg by creating an "entertainment" as complex and important as "Laura" and as dizzyingly theatrical as "Memento." In "Where The Truth Lies," Egoyan takes us to 1972 Hollywood and the story of a now defunct comedy/musical duo, Morris and Collins (a slimy, rat-packish Kevin Bacon and a calm on the surface yet internally whacked-out Colin Firth), the circumstances surrounding their break-up and the mysterious death of a beautiful young woman (a sultry yet prim Rachel Blanchard) being investigated by a young, ambitious reporter/novelist (the excellent Alison Lohman): a death with which Morris and Collins may have or may not have had anything to do. Egoyan takes this popular entertainment, and like the great directors, Douglas Sirk and Alfred Hitchcock for example, approaches the material as if it is the most important in the world, seriously applying his expert skills, creating an undeniably truthful tone and a point-of-view that transforms this story into one infused with, on the one hand, a world-weary importance and on the other, a hold on to your underpants roller coaster ride. Both Firth and Bacon do their best at chewing the scenery and attempting to best and upstage each other in all of their scenes together but despite this or maybe because of it, they both come off as prometheanly conflicted and flawed individuals ultimately guilty of only wanting to have a good time and make the most of their stardom and celebrity. With her quiet, reserved performance, Alison Lohman manages to steal this movie away from both Firth and Bacon: she is an old-soul, with eyes both fierce and limpid and a manner and carriage that speaks volumes with the smallest flick of an eyebrow or a jut of chin. Not only is there an intellect at work here with all cylinders firing but Egoyan's considerable humanity, awareness and understanding of all things human imbues "Where The Truth Lies" with a warm, sunset-like glow that stays with you long after the last image of the last scene flickers away. "
Strong Acting of Kevin Bacon Cannot Save the Film from Shall
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 01/22/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I can usually forgive the complicated story especially when it is about a murder mystery or film noir. That is, if there is something that interests us - dead body, sexy woman, cool detective, or whatever. That `Where the Truth Lies' demands so much suspense of disbelief is already a big problem, but more problematic is that Karen O'Conner (Allison Lohman) is such a boring heroine as young fledging journalist who wants to know the `truths' about the two TV stars doing telethons in the 50s and a dead body of a beautiful woman found in a bathtub. (And Karen disrobes herself - yes, guys, there is nudity, just for the record. So if you're interested in Ms. Lohamn like me, see the uncut version.)
The story itself is intriguing, I admit. (I haven't read the original book by Rupert Holmes, but if you say it is better, I believe it). Young Karen, so desperate to find a big story, approaches two former TV celebrities, Lanny Morris (Kevin Bacon) and Vince Collins (Colin Firth). They were popular vaudevillians, and did a successful telethon on a broadcast during the 50s.
Now the time is 1972, the place, Los Angels. After meeting Vince in person who requires one million dollars, Karen finally gets a chance to read the inside stories written by Lanny, who so far has never told anything about the `unlucky incident' at the hotel. In the meanwhile, she gets a chance to know Lanny personally, and is attracted to him, only to find that the truths are more complicated and dangerous than she thought.
[TOO IMPOSSIBLE] I say again the premise is interesting. But any noir film or any kind of drama using the idea of crime mystery needs meticulously detailed descriptions of characters and situations, but sadly Atom Edoyan must have thought otherwise. We are told that Karen can pretend that she is `Bonnie' (Sonja Bennett) her friend and second-grade teacher, and use Bonnie's room to cover up her identity when she meets Lanny. We are told that Karen is an inexperienced journalist, but somehow she gets a contract worth $ one million. And that's one million dollars in the 70s when Lanny and Vince are now forgotten TV stars in the 50s, not Jerry and Dean. And we must believe that these Lanny and Vince are not only promiscuous (that part I can believe) but also so violent that Vince can beat up a rude audience at backstage. And it is Colin Firth (!) who surely is trying to undo his Darcy image.
But if you have to find the truths about this film, it can be found in poor acting of Allison Lohman. Yes, I wrote, poor. Maybe I should have written `miscast' but I do not actually mind the casting itself very much. But I still think her acting is disappointing, lacking emotional nuances that are essential in letting us know what Karen is feeling at each key scene. This is only my impression, but when Karen feels pride (for her job), joy (for meeting Lanny), fear (for experiencing what I cannot write here), or compassion (for the mother of the dead woman), Karen looks the same all the time. And there is nudity and kissing with another girl (attired in Alice in Wonderland costume). I tried to figure out the meaning of them, but at best they are as deep as the lyrics of Jefferson Airplane songs.
Only reliable Kevin Bacon and the perfect production designs are impressive in `Where the Truth Lies.' The rest of the film is a series of awfully incredible twists and turns of mystery which is in fact a very shallow one."
Disappointing, Miscast, Noir Wannabe
Donegal Dan | Southwest United States | 03/21/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"From the two main leads, I had hoped this film would be good. Unfortunately, it was only engrossing in fits and starts. To begin with, Colin Firth was badly miscast and played his part almost as if sleepwalking. I could get no insight into the man or his motivations. Kevin Bacon was better--and the best part of the movie although not up to his top form. His portrayal of the sleazy Lannie was relatively convincing but he got very little help from the plot or his co-cast members. And Alison Lohman, I'm sorry, was pretty terrible. For someone playing a supposedly junior hot-shot reporter, she was not only slack-jawed and naive appearing, but also irritating. In addition, the plot had her swinging from doe-eyed and innocent admirer to wanton sexual playmate without an iota of believability or back-up character development. The storytelling technique of voice-overs and flashbacks can be effective but in this case I found it primarily confusing and distracting. Overall, what could have been a well-done neo-noir mystery with intriguing twists and turns seemed merely muddy and offputting."
This director decided to "Sell Out" and hide underneath the
Jenny J.J.I. | That Lives in Carolinas | 08/18/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While not on the same lengths as Cronenberg's latest foray, A History of Violence, Atom Egoyan pulls off a decent Canadian feature with this film, and heightens it with a great acting talent of Colin Firth and the man who knows everyone and one of my personal favorite actors (and pincushions), Kevin Bacon.
While the storyline becomes a little convoluted half-way through, the performances and presentation of the film keep up throughout. The dual narration is annoying at first, but becomes acceptable after a few minutes. The presentation of the 1950s settings, and the 1970s settings were done well. While some of the costumes are off in some areas, in others, they are spot-on. It makes you wonder why Oscar skipped over the film (until you watch it all, and then realize why). Alison Lohman is alright here, but she was much better in Matchstick Men, if for only the fact that she looks to young for her own good (and after the things she does, and has done to her in this film, she looks way too young for her own good). For this reason, she has a really hard time carrying the film, and has an even harder time acting against Firth and Bacon. Rachel Blanchard is sadly underused, as is Firth, but the rest of the supporting cast has just enough time needed to stretch.
The film's graphic nude and sex scenes are up to par with Cronenberg, and make an interesting comparison. Were they really attempting to compete, or was it just a subtle irony that both of the films came out over a year ago, and had their first screenings at Cannes? In the end, the whole thing sadly just looks very little in comparison to Violence, and that's the unfortunate thing because they were just destined to be compared.
I know that the NC-17 rating of the film made a big scandal and controversy among fans. While most of the time the rating is all a bunch of bull, quite often movies that lack in the story, acting or budget make up for it in explicit sex scenes (which is what got this film its rating), language or gore, and the plot gets lost somewhere in between all these distractions. I suppose it is all personal taste, and different people love or hate this movie for various reasons. To me, it is a combination of reasons. The only "REALLY" good thing about it was the cast, and as much as I like the actors, they were not enough to save it. But, the film is done averagely well, and deserves a look.
Hard-to-forget film; give it a chance!
Mr. | Eastern Washington | 09/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am a fan of several of Atom Egoyan's films, and was curious about the milieu of this one. Since seeing it, I find my mind drifting back to it with some consistency; empirically speaking, I know it affected me on some levels that I'm only dimly aware of. I thought Kevin Bacon's take on a character meant to remind us of the older Jerry Lewis was rich and daring; Colin Firth made an indelible impression as his straight man, the repressed but debonair Brit standing in for Dean Martin's suave Italian-American. Alison Lohman seems not quite up to her key role, and I found myself wondering if Egoyan might have had someone more cerebral like Sarah Polley (he cast her so perfectly in The Sweet Hereafter) in mind instead. A classic whodunit dressed up in artsy chronology, you will find yourself changing your mind a few times about what really happened before the final scenes."