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Where the Truth Lies (Unrated Theatrical Edition)

3.5 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Starring Kevin Bacon (Beauty Shop, Mystic River), Colin Firth (Love Actually, Bridget Jones's Diary) and Alison Lohman (Big Fish, Matchstick Men), Where the Truth Lies is a suspenseful mystery from acclaimed director Atom Egoyan. In the ‘50s, Vince Collins (Firth) and Lanny Morris (Bacon) are the hottest showbiz duo in America. The combination of Lanny's brash American style and Vince's biting British wit is irresistible, especially to beautiful women. When a beautiful young woman, Maureen (Rachel Blanchard) is found dead in the bathtub of the duo's suite, their glittery world begins to crumble. They have rock solid alibis and are exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing; however, the scandal causes the once inseparable pair to part company. Fifteen years later, Karen O'Connor (Lohman), a young and ambitious journalist, is determined to uncover the secrets of the two men who, coincidentally, touched her life when she was a child. She persuades a publisher to offer a guarded Vince Col


Director Atom Egoyan's 2005 film Where the Truth Lies is laden with nudity, sex, violence, lies, blackmail, betrayal… and really, what more could you want? Other than some genuine tension, a more compelling story, and better acting, that is. In adapting Rupert Holmes' novel, the Cairo-born Egoyan (Ararat, Exotica, The Sweet Hereafter) has taken on a murder mystery with film noir elements that will leave many viewers wondering exactly "whodunit" until the final few scenes; and while that's surely a good thing, the ride itself simply isn't all that scintillating. Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth star as a (Dean) Martin & (Jerry) Lewis-style team whose principal talents seem to consist mainly of pill-popping, soulless sex with a stream of nubile young women, and hosting an annual polio telethon. Fifteen years after their '50s heyday, journalist Karen O'Connor (Alison Lohman), who appeared on the telethon as a child, seeks out the pair to determine why they split up and, not coincidentally, what really happened to the dead girl with whom they had dallied the night before. Bacon is reasonably unctuous as the leering Lanny Morris; but Firth is uninspired as the more elusive Vince Collins, and although Lohman is game, she sometimes seems out of her depth in a role that calls for her to both seduce and be seduced, to manipulate and be manipulated. Egoyan, who also wrote the screenplay, has an eye for odd little details (much is made of Pan Am's first class dinner service, for instance) and an ear for great music (the soundtrack includes tunes by Charles Mingus, Louis Prima, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Funkadelic) and good dialogue ("Having to be a nice guy is the toughest job in the world when you're not"). But the film is curiously tepid; the sex is unconvincing, the mystery lacks a sense of danger, and the resolution is hardly shocking. One wishes that, having dipped into this genre, Egoyan had gone all out and made a film as delightfully sleazy as, say, Basic Instinct. --Sam Graham

Special Features

  • Featurette The Making of Where The Truth Lies
  • Deleted scenes
  • Trailers

Product Details

  • Actors: Colin Firth, Sonia Bennett, Alison Lohman, Kevin Bacon, Johnny Blanchard
  • Directors: Atom Egoyan
  • Producers: Robert Lantos
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 28, 2006
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000DZ8540
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,019 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Where the Truth Lies (Unrated Theatrical Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I am very gratified that the word of mouth on this film, as found on this site, has been so good. The official reviews have been mixed at best, and the film's release has been severely limited, perhaps due to the ratings controversy.

From what I heard in the audience in NYC, I got the impression that Atom Egoyan's fans expected more from him, something more profound and meaningful, perhaps. As pure entertainment, though, and for style and aura, Where the Truth Lies succeeds admirably. I had read the book before seeing the film, and Bacon and Firth truly nail the characters of Vince Collins (who was Italian-American in the book, but changed to a suave Brit as played by Firth) and Lanny Morris.

The complicated love relationship between the two of them and their use of their celebrity for both good and ill is fascinating. It is too easy for critics to dismiss the film as cheesy film noir when it is so much more than that.

Their breakup as portrayed in the film was as painful as the breakup of any long-term marriage, perhaps more so, as for one of them at least, what lay under the surface had been repressed for so long.

Bacon and Firth give rich, nuanced performances that have been extolled even by those who disliked the film. I've seen the film several times, each time finding something new to admire on different levels. Colin Firth is one of the most gifted and underrated actors of our generation and can say more with facial expressions than most actors can with pages of dialogue. Kevin Bacon delivers a sharp, edgy performance that ranks with his best roles.

I suppose I could comment on the intricate plot, the story told differently through different voices and from different perspectives, but that isn't what made the film so remarkable.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Topic From this Discussion
Rated, unrated?
I have both versions. My trusty Panasonic gives the playing times as follows - 'Unrated Theatrical' (1:47:19) vs 'DVD Edition' aka 'Rated Edition' (1:46:21). That means that the Unrated version has about 1 minute extra playing time so that's the disc to get, albeit the difference is slim.
Oct 2, 2006 by Bejsam |  See all 3 posts
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