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Separate Lies (2005)

Tom Wilkinson , Emily Watson , Julian Fellowes  |  R |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Hermione Norris, John Warnaby, Rupert Everett
  • Directors: Julian Fellowes
  • Writers: Julian Fellowes, Nigel Balchin
  • Producers: Christian Colson, Paul Smith, Steve Clark-Hall
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: February 21, 2006
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CCW2O8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,523 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Separate Lies" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary by writer/director Julian Fellowes

Editorial Reviews

Secrets and lies spiral out of control in this heart-pounding suspense thriller. Tom Wilkinson and Emily Watson star as James and Anna, a seemingly happy couple whose marriage begins to unravel when he learns sheÂ's been having an affair with their seductive neighbor Bill (Rupert Everett). When a man turns up dead, James faces another shocking revelation about his wife and her lover, forcing all three into a cover-up that may cost them everything.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ensemble Effect February 24, 2006
Nigel Balchin's maze-like novel 'A Way Through the Wood' has been adapted by Julian Fellowes who also directs this 'terribly British' drawing room suspense piece. It is a film whose effect relies on the cast portraying the varyingly benign/malignant characters and it is here that Fellowes' directorial choices are superb. The story has a linear line that is easy to follow, but the beauty of the film is the metamorphosis of each player as a single incident ignites a minefield of disasters.

James Manning (Tom Wilkinson) is a successful business obsessed solicitor in London, married to Anne (Emily Watson) who needs more in her life: the couple being childless live in the country in a beautiful estate, assisted by their long term 'cleaner' Maggie (Linda Bassett). They attend social outings and meet, among others, William Bule (Rupert Everett), the passively lazy wealthy neighbor. Anne decides they should entertain their neighbors and against gruff James' protestation Anne proceeds with planning: James arranges to 'not attend due to business'. On the night of the party there is a hit and run accident in which Maggie's husband is accidentally killed by someone in a Range Rover (she observed). When James returns home he sees a scratch on William's Range Rover and suspects William to be the perpetrator. Anne discourages James from going to the police with the information -'what possible good can it do but ruin Bill's life as a socialite and father and son of an important scion?'.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What Happened To The Plot? March 26, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a delightful semi-thriller that explores several themes. A tragic hit and run accident provides a test of ethics for the main three protagonists. The movie asks the question do we protect someone we love from the consequences of that person's actions? It is almost amusing to see the ethical about face of one of the cast when it is discovered that the driver is someone else than the person thought to be the guilty party. An adulterous affair complicates the plot, and the movie explores the resulting anguish of the participants.

At the beginning of this review I stated that the movie is a semi-thriller. The three main characters are involved in events that cause an increasing state of tension as the movie progresses, but I really feel that the director wasn't trying to make a thriller at all. The emotional struggles of the the trio are what's really important. One reviewer commented that the movie dragged. When I watched it I marveled at the tight editing of the movie. Many scenes seem to last only a minute or less, and none of them contain any unnecessary material.

One thing that surprised me though, is that a certain aspect of the plot simply vanishes later on in the movie. Aside from that I really felt that this was a well crafted film.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange Bedfellows October 11, 2005
Julian Fellowes, in his first film as director (he wrote the screenplay here and for "Gosford Park") films the beginning of "Separate Lies" as an idyllic ode to England: a Cricket match, beautiful gauzy shots of the English countryside, stately country manors, titled gentry in white cricket attire and lounging in tweeds and woolens. For all intents and purposes based on the first 10 minutes, "Separate Lies" could have been set in 1915.
But then Rupert Everett shows up as William Bule and we are thrust forward 90 years in a matter of seconds as he insinuates himself into the plot and the marriage of James and Anne Manning (a mannered and slightly off her game, Emily Watson and an excellent Tom Wilkinson...when is someone going to mount a production of "Death of a Salesman" for this guy?)
We are in the infidelity arena in "Separate Lies" and no one makes a film about infidelity like the Brits: think "Damage" with the terrific trio of Jeremy Irons, Juliette Binoche and Rupert Graves and the now almost forgotten, "Betrayal" (shamefully only available on VHS) with Irons again, Patricia Hodge and Ben Kingsley. Unfortunately, "Separate Lies" is neither up to the task nor the excellent quality of these two films.
Though the action gets more intriguing and interesting as the movie moves towards its ambiguous and ironic denouement, the film loses steam as a punctured balloon loses air and deflates and this can only be blamed on the flaccid editing.
Rupert Everett's icy, loose and entitled performance is a great foil for Wilkinson's sweaty, worried and jittery performance: their scenes together crackle with wit and fire.
The almost always excellent Watson's Anne is problematic.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex drama with strong performances 3 1/2 stars March 5, 2006
Opening with idyllic shots of the English countryside in a wealthy neighborhood "Separate Lies" follows the disintegration of what appears to be a perfect marriage on the surface between a London solicitor James Manning(Tom Wilkinson), his wife Anne (Emily Watson) and Bill Bule (Rupert Everett in a cool performance) a mysterious wealthy stranger just returned from New York. When a local is killed in a hit and run accident suspicions fall on Bill. Manning pursues the case and uncovers an unsavory aspect of us life when he opens the door to try and convince Bill to do the right thing.

A well made combination of character study and thriller Fellowes' film reminds me quite a bit of "Betrayal" with the emotional twists and turns the character must go through. All three main actors give terrific performances but Wilkinson's slow burn performance takes center stage. There the resemblance ends as the plot thickens ends as Manning, Anne and Bill are drawn further and further into a whirlpool of deceit. Anchored by a trio outstanding performances "Separate Lies" does what English dramas do best and Hollywood rarely can do anymore-create a drama focused on the characters and their world.

"Separate Lies" features robust, bold colors that look marvelous in this transfer. The transfer has remarkable clarity and detail with no digital or analog artifacts that I can detect. Fox has pulled out all the stops in putting together the look and sound for this DVD. The 5.1 mix sounds quite good although it's not designed to use the format to best effect the surround speakers are used for subtle sound effects.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Essentially boring
I purchased this to see Julian Fellowes director "chops" but was pretty disappointed at his seeming inability to infuse this movie with the gravitas that is required to... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Ralph E. Stephan
5.0 out of 5 stars A Film With Depth
Separate Lies is a story within a story. Up front is the tragedy of a car accident and the issue of who is at fault. Read more
Published 1 month ago by stanna panna
4.0 out of 5 stars A little bit like "In The Bed Room" and a little bit like "Unfaithful"
It's a little bit of "In The Bed Room" and a little bit of "Unfaithful", British style. I could watch Tom Wilkinson in any thing he does. Read more
Published 4 months ago by L. M. Butler
5.0 out of 5 stars A Profoundly Moving and Stunning Performance by Emily Watson
Once again, Ms. Emily Watson gives a stunning performance of incredible emotional depth, pulse pounding intensity, and overwhelming artistic beauty. Read more
Published 5 months ago by SanFran JT
5.0 out of 5 stars Separate Lies is superb!
A wonderful film in every way; writing, direction, acting are all first rate.I will enjoy watching it again. Tom Wilkinson is especially good.
Published 6 months ago by Walter Rutley
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
This is a great afternoon movie. Well-paced and good acting - well except for Rupert Everett (boring as usual). Came very quickly as well.
Published 8 months ago by Dorothy Lamb
3.0 out of 5 stars bogs down
This film is a predictable pseudo-suspense. The characters are only superficially developed. If you're looking for a diversion, it's ok.
Published 14 months ago by M. Teater
1.0 out of 5 stars Now I know I will never visit England!
This was the most pitiful movie I have seen in years and I watch many many movies. The writing is not believable at all!! Read more
Published 14 months ago by Steve C. Fletcher
1.0 out of 5 stars Separate Lies
I bought this movie because It was written by the same man who wrote Downton Abbey. While it was mildly entertaining it did not meet my expectations.
Published 15 months ago by Patti R
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible
Terrible. Let's see, were we supposed to like the expensive furniture, hotel scenery, shoes, and nightgowns? Poor Tom Wilkinson, found himself in the middle of that.
Published 19 months ago by Kit Savage
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