Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Sixth Degree

Atom Egoyan’s “Where the Truth Lies” didn’t get much of a release after losing a battle with the MPAA, and most of the critical comments on it I’ve read have been cheap shots that don’t give any idea of what the film is actually trying to accomplish. On the basis of one viewing, I’m not completely sure what I think, but I’ll at least credit the film as being a lot more interesting than its detractors would have you think – which is hardly a surprise given the director’s track record. Based on a novel by Rupert Holmes (who is probably best known as the composer and singer of “The Pina Colada Song”), it’s about a hugely successful nightclub act in the 1950s (think Martin and Lewis, only Martin’s English rather than Italian…) who break up after being involved in a scandal (the naked-corpse-found-in-hotel-bathtub kind). It’s also about a young writer in 1972 who begins a Kane-like investigation of the story while working on a book with the team’s straight man. In some ways, it seems like this is Egoyan’s “Far From Heaven”, an analysis of the repressed subtext of the 1950s, but his intentions aren’t entirely clear. Nonetheless, I liked the broad star turns of Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon and, despite the widespread criticisms of her performance, though Allison Lohmann was very appealing as the heroine/guide.

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