home | archives | about us | feedback

Daily Relay

Tracking trends and development in digital culture

special section:
Mindjack Film
Fresh thinking on current and classic cinema

Mindjack T-Shirts
Only $15US
shipping included


Mindjack Release
Sign up to receive details of new issues


Where the Truth Lies

Where the Truth Lies
reviewed by Donald Melanson

March 13 , 2006 | Based on the novel of the same name by Rupert Holmes, Atom Egoyan’s Where the Truth Lies centers on a showbiz duo loosely inspired by Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis (played by Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon), and two key periods in their lives, which are interwoven throughout the film. The first takes place during their heyday in 1957, when a mysterious incident happened that left a young woman dead in their hotel room.  The second in 1972, after the duo has split up and a young reporter (Alison Lohman) is working on a book about them.

Like the double entendre of the film’s title, however, nothing is quite what it seems. One inspired choice is the use of two narrators: Lohman’s character, Karen O’Conner, and Kevin Bacon’s, Lanny Morris, who happens to be writing a book of his own about him and his partner. Neither one knows the full story of what happened, leaving us to figure out what is actually true and what each simply thinks is true.

Egoyan handles this and the films other intricacies masterfully, crafting a film that’s as involving as it is intelligent. It can also fairly be called the director's most "mainstream" film. But, like the best of the classic film noir movies that inform it, Where the Truth Lies uses a seemingly accessible genre as a means to tackle some much more difficult ideas -- and in that sense, it fits in quite neatly with Egoyan's other films.

Sony Pictures’s recently released DVD is unfortunately a bit of a disappointment, especially compared to the great editions that some of Egoyan’s other movies have received. The picture and sound are great, as you would expect, but the extra features are decidedly lacking. In addition to a selection of trailers for Sony DVDs (but none for Where the Truth Lies itself) we get a five-minute featurette on the making of the film, which is actually just a montage of various behind-the-scenes footage, and a selection of deleted scenes, including one with a piece of dialogue that likely would have gotten a big audience reaction but was probably wisely cut.

I would have especially liked to see a commentary by Egoyan, who’s done some insightful ones for his other films. But I’m guessing the poor box-office and lack of critical recognition put an end to any consideration of that. Nevertheless, I highly recommend it based on the quality of the film, and the fact that it seems unlikely we‘ll get a more extensive special edition anytime soon. Be sure to double check the case before you buy or rent it though, as Sony has also deemed it necessary to release an edited R-rated version of the DVD.

Donald Melanson is the editor-in-chief of Mindjack and a freelance writer and journalist. In addition to Mindjack, his work has appeared in The Globe & Mail, Engadget, and MovieMaker Magazine, among other publications.

Advertise in Mindjack
Email for Information

home | about us | feedback