Where The Truth Lies - Review
Review by Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Making Of Feature; Deleted Scenes; Unedited B Roll; Trailer.
A BEAUTIFUL girl lies dead in the bathtub of a hotel suite occupied by popular 50s comedy double act, Lanny Morris and Vince Collins. How she got there and whether they were involved is what an attractive young reporter seeks to find out 15 years later for her latest article.
So begins Where The Truth Lies, a twisting erotic and utterly compelling murder-mystery from director, Atom Egoyan, that explores the seamier side of celebrity in suitably sinister fashion.
Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth play the double act in question, a charismatic duo with a certain Rat Pack panache, who become seduced by the easy excess of fame – from drugs and booze to casual sex and experimentation.
On the surface, they are a respectable partnership, continually striving to do charitable work in the form of telethons in support of good causes.
But behind closed doors, they womanise, consort with the Mob and become wracked by insecurity, self-doubt and the need to garner acclaim.
Fifteen years after the peak of their celebrity, their story is exposed by Alison Lohman’s inquisitive reporter, Karen O’Connor, who resolves to uncover the truth about how a pretty woman came to be found in their bathtub.
Yet her investigation becomes increasingly more perilous the closer she becomes to her subjects, particularly as she has harboured a youthful crush on them for many years.
Where The Truth lies has attracted a certain amount of notoriety because of an explicit sex scene that helped earn it a dreaded NC-17 rating in America.
Yet it contains plenty to arouse the mind as well, thanks to its enticing mix of showbiz excess and ‘whodunnit’ elements.
Bacon is typically electrifying as the womanising Lanny, a sexual predator whose wayward habits come back to haunt him in his later years, while Firth’s pill-popping Vince flits between politeness and rage with genuine edginess, providing the actor with one of his best roles in ages (a million miles from his affable Bridget Jones types).
Lohan, meanwhile, plays the reporter like a rabbit caught in the crosslights of her adulation for the performers and the realisation that they’re not as nice as they seem.
But she remains the film’s weak link, appearing a little too young for some of the more adult material and failing to provide the alluring presence her character suggests she should.
Her performance comes in stark contrast to Rachel Blanchard, who is suitably incendiary as the victim of the piece.
Egoyan deserves credit, however, for creating such a dangerous, decadent world in which the truth is constantly evolving.
His film continually keeps viewers guessing and actually has the courage to expose the shortcomings of just about every character.
As both viewers and voyeurs, audiences will love being seduced.