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3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
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on 9 June 2017
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 November 2006
If you like films which are stylish, elegant, sexy, well acted and sophisticated you may enjoy this DVD.

However, if you like there to be at least one sympathetic character you feel able to care about, and prefer a happy ending, you should probably leave it alone.

It tells the story of a young female editor, getting her first big break in publishing by interviewing one of two former TV stars she had idolised as a child.

Fifteen years ago a young woman had been found dead in their hotel suite, and their partnership had broken up. Now both of them are looking to write their memoirs - and the skeletons begin to come crashing from the closets.

Some absolutely brilliant character acting by Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth as the former stars, well supported by the rest of the cast. Also does a really good job of depicting the manners, dress and morals (or lack of them) of the show business scene two or three decades ago.

However, the story is extremely dark. I watched this to the end and got a moderate amount of pleasure out of it. My wife gave up half way through and went to bed on the grounds that she couldn't sympathise with a single one of the characters: she thought they were all horrible and couldn't make herself care about the wicked things they were doing to one another.

I don't regret having rented this, but I am glad I didn't buy it. If you do decide to watch it, I can recommend the "deleted scenes" section of the extras menu - some quite good moments ended up on the cutting room floor.
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I saw this at the cinema and was engrossed and intrigued. I just had to get the DVD to see if my hunches were right.

It's 1957. Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth play a famous TV double-act, adored by the nation. A young woman dies in their hotel suite. The double-act breaks up. Why? Fast-forward to 1972, when both men are separately reputedly writing their memoirs. Will the truth come out? Alison Lohman thinks she's on to the reason why one of America's greatest entertainment institutions foundered.

This is a modern (2005) film noir about murder, mystery, and the cynicism of fame. Shot in colour, it's beautifully filmed with many period touches. Clues abound throughout the film, but it's only at the end that it all adds up. Consequently, it's a film to watch a number of times to see something new and different.

The acting is top-notch; Bacon and Firth are totally believable as the buddies whose partnership turned sour over one night's excess. It is wonderfully slow and languorous movie, helped by a wonderful soundtrack by Mychael Danna.

It's classified as 18 because it "contains strong sex and drug use"; some of the cast `swing both ways', but I do not see why this film should not have been a 15.

There are four extras: 1. a refreshingly commentary-free `making of ...' (five minutes); 2. deleted scenes (ten minutes); 3. a ten-minute featurettes with the actors, director and producer; and 4. a twelve-minute unedited B-roll, which is kind of a continuation of 1.
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VINE VOICEon 13 September 2009
I do like Atom Egoyan - The Sweet Hearafter is a metaphysical masterpiece!!-but fear that his trademark disjointed narrative structure that often leaves the darkest plot revelation to the closing moments of the film is no longer serving him that well.
His familiar obsessions with duplicity, voyeurism and perceived reality come to play here. Kevin Bacon is well cast. Colin Firth isnt, his acting style is disgruntled at the best of times but as a 1950 Telethon double act crooner that has a secret lust he is neither convincing or comfortable. The biggest problem is that it tries to cover too much ground and comes across as crass when it should have been a cool sultry Film Noir with added sex. Its no Mulholland Drive it's not even Wild Palms?!! Not the return to form that Egoyan fans hoped for!!
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A film noir murder mystery involving a Martin & Lewis type comedy team, March 1, 2006
There is a problem with "Where the Truth Lies" that you might not be able to get past, namely the selling point of the story in Hollywood terms. This would be that a dead woman is found naked in the bathtub of a suite about to be occupied by the comedy team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, and the question is whether it was one, the other, or both that killed her. The names of the comedy team in this 2005 film noir are Vince Collins (Colin Firth) and Lanny Morris (Kevin Bacon), but if you do not see the parallels between Collins & Morris and Martin & Lewis before they are hosting a telethon for polio, then you are simply too young to remember Martin & Lewis.

Now, the real hook of this film noir is not that the leads are modeled on Martin & Lewis, but that Collins & Morris both have air tight alibis for the murder. They spent 39 hours doing their telethon in Miami and as soon as it was over were escorted to the airport, flown to New York City, and driven to Atlantic City where the body was discovered. The only thing is that the dead girl worked at the hotel in Miami, and had wanted to interview the two stars for her school paper. The official story smells, and whatever the truth might be it cannot be good. Soon after the telethon and the discovery of the dead girl, Collins & Morris broke up. There has to be a connection, although clearly it is under so many layers (for one thing, the naked body in the bathtub is completely submerged with its eyes opened, which not only looks freaky, but think about how something like that could actually happen)..

Fifteen years later Karen O'Connor (Alison Lohman), another young reporter, has wrangled a book deal for Collins, with the understanding that he will have to talk about Morris and the death of Maureen O'Flaherty (Rachel Blanchard, putting her "7th Heaven" days well behind her). O'Connor has just met Morris on a Pan Am flight (nice use of the way they served meals on flights back then to advance the story) as a one-night-stand. However, she actually knows them from way back: she was one of the children with polio on the fatal telethon. These men have always been heroes to her, and we do get to see them during their glory days in flashbacks, but the more she learns the harder it looks like they are going to fall.

Director Atomy Egoyn ("The Sweet Hereafter"), who did the screenplay from the novel by Rupert Holmes, does not give you enough clues to figure out whodunit in this somewhat different film noir. This is a mystery where you are along for the ride, because keeping up with the twists and turns in this one is just going to give you a headache. How this is different from most film noirs is that the sleuth is not Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe, but a young woman who is in way over her head Additionally, Karen is doing this not for herself or for the dead Maureen, and she is not doing it for the truth. She is doing it for Maureen's mother, who has been told her daughter committed suicide and has had to deal with her husband going insane. All of this underscores that O'Connor is not a professional, let alone a seasoned one, which explains some of her youthful mistakes (as a general rule, reporters do not take drugs with their subjects), but she also has the tenacity to find the truth and the youthful idealism to know what to do when she finds it.
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on 3 November 2016
Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth are a 50s comedy and musical double act who split after a murder scandal. Fifteen years later a journalist (Alison Lohman) is writing a book about them.

I’m rather so-so on writer-director Atom Egoyan. His films are a bit bland but at least his early work was interestingly odd. His later work became more conventional, but I assumed his identity as an unusual director was lost. I saw Chloe (2009) and thought it was his best film despite being much less ‘interesting’ than his earlier work. Somehow I’ve just kept to my assumption that he was a spent force creatively after The Sweet Hereafter (1997). The trailer for this made it look boring, and the 50s comedy double act subject matter held no appeal. I was happy to skip it for over a decade.

So I started this film with very low expectations. It was significantly better than I expected. Straightaway I was hooked. The film is brilliant. It’s by far his best movie. It’s got a great plot, good dialogue exchanges, the acting is good and it’s visually lavish. I was fully engaged throughout and thought it was a fascinating movie.

The sex scenes were exceedingly seedy. The lesbian seduction to Sanctuary by The Mahavishnu Orchestra (exotic 70s jazz-rock) while a girl sings the lyrics to Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit was very memorable. I think this should go up there with Mulholland Drive (2001) and Maps to the Stars (2014) in the short pantheon of perverted Hollywood psychodramas. It’s as extreme as those films without being as overtly flamboyant.

The film gets a bit too convoluted towards the end but I didn’t mind that as I didn’t try to catch the film out in any plot holes. I suspect it’s the type of story that will have lots of plot holes and questionable character behaviour if you pick at it. I didn’t pick at it and just let it wash over me. On repeat viewings I might be less impressed, but for now I thought it was an excellent movie. The film is far more entertaining than it looks.
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on 4 July 2007
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.
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on 18 April 2015
All in all I found the movie entertaining and it looks gorgeous but sadly is doesn't explore its full potential, which could have ranked it in the level of L.A. Confidential.
The story itself is intriguing and Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon are fantastic. Unfortunately Alison Lohman is not good enough to hold her ground against them, in my opinion a much better choice for that role would have been Scarlett Johansson.
Personally I think the movie wanted to show some dark side of the 50ies Hollywood glamour but stayed too tame (I am not refering to sexual contents here!) to be truly convincing let alone shocking.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 15 September 2009
The story opens in 1957, when Lenny Morris (Kevin Bacon) and Vince Collins (Colin Firth), a famous Martin and Lewis-type act, are hosting a telethon. That night, a dead woman is found in their hotel room and the team breaks up under a cloud of suspicion. Fifteen years later, a young journalist (Alison Lohman) wants to interview Collins for a book and begins to probe the mysterious death.

Bacon and Firth are both fine actors, but they are wasted in this terrible film. Alison Lohman is the main character and she's completely wrong for the part of a savvy young writer; she acts like a high school girl and looks so much like Amy Adams I was wishing Adams had done the part. She is timid and childish in all of her scenes and just isn't strong enough to carry the film. Firth tries to play against his charmer-image as a pill-popper, but I didn't believe him for a minute; he seems to be sleepwalking through the movie. Bacon is good as his slimy, heartless partner, but his character is so odious I cringed whenever he was on the screen.

The director apparently thought this was a seductive, sophisticated mystery and used lots of moody film-noir music to try to heighten the drama, but nothing works. The story uses confusing flashbacks every few minutes and I never knew what was going on until the end and then I didn't care. A surprisingly bad and unpleasant movie with unnecessarily graphic sexuality.
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on 28 February 2006
Where the Truth Lies is heavy-handed, bombastic, blatant, overwrought, confusing and florid. It's one of those movies that viewers are going together love or hate – I quite liked it – but director Atom Egoyan's homage to the perils of show business is so misguided and semi-sensationalistic that it plays more like a tension-filled tease than it does a scathing commentary on the rigors of fame and its unpredictable frivolity.
Where the Truth Lies is also over-produced to an inch of its life, yet it's often exceedingly watchable even as laughably ridiculous moments start piling up. Part melodramatic potboiler, and part pseudo noir, it's mostly a second rate mystery dressed up with tawdry sex scenes, masquerading as high-gloss trash.
The story centers on a madcap comedy team that was once the toast of the 1950s club scene. Zany Lanny Morris (Kevin Bacon) and the more measured Vince Collins (Colin Firth) were sitting on top of the world, only to watch their world come crashing down after a naked young girl is found dead in their hotel suite.
Fifteen years later, in 1972 another luscious blond award winning journalist, Karen (Alison Lohman), is determined to get the inside scoop on what happened that night and who murdered the woman. Her unusual technique is to grill her subjects whilst wearing low-cut tops and accepting recreational drugs from them.
Veering between the two time periods, the film is a convoluted maze of double - and triple-crosses, betrayed trusts, lustful secrets and sordid lies. Even if told in a linear fashion, the story would probably still be confusing with Mr. Egoyan's insistence on jumping back and forth between the team's '50s heyday and its '70s seclusion makes things even more chaotic.
The flashbacks to the '50s, however, are the most effective because they have an intriguing inside-show-business feel and a nonstop energy fueled by Bacon and Firth's manic impressions of a comedy duo. Bacon has the showier role, and he wrings everything he can out of it, creating a character whose layers of complexities embrace all dimensions of behavior while still maintaining a small semblance of humanity. But Firth is equally impressive, as Vince; he initially seems the more relaxed role, but beneath the character's carefully guarded facade is a volcano of dangerous emotions and when those emotions come to the surface, the effect is harrowing.
Riddled with sensationalized sex, drug use, mob ties and grim looks at show-biz hypocrisy, Where the Truth Lies is more concerned with perpetuating naughty shock value and vivid period re-creations than it is an absorbing or convincing crime story. I'm surprised that Atom Egoyan, who is usually known for quietly artful films, would be attracted to material such as this; yes, he is able to propel the story along, and it does indeed have some compelling moments, but all to often, the director slips into overheated, melodramatic ruts for this noisy, hard-boiled entertainment and the film ends up unintentionally stumbling towards parody. Mike Leonard February 06.
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