Firth's Fondness for Bacon
When I read the synopsis for "Where the Truth Lies" I thought it sounded great, a fictitious story about a journalist doing a story on a rat pack style double act that 15 years earlier had parted company when a dead girl was found in their hotel room. The only thing which made me worry was the casting of Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon as a Martin & Lewis style double act especially Firth who I couldn't imagine playing a Vegas Lounge Lizard character. Ironically the casting of Firth & Bacon was brilliant but the casting of Alison Lohman as the young journalist ended up wrong and that was not the only thing because we have a story which jumps all over the place and makes it harder than need be to follow. It means that whilst "Where the Truth Lies" is well worth watching it ends up not as smooth and as good as it should be.
As a girl Lanny & Vince (Kevin Bacon & Colin Firth) were heroes to young Karen (Alison Lohman - Matchstick Men), they were not only a popular double act but they did work for charity and it is through their work with a Polio charity that she met them. But when a woman was discovered dead in their hotel room it caused the end of their act and now 15 years later Karen, now a journalist, has the chance to uncover the truth as she is asked to work on Vince's story.
When "Where the Truth Lies" starts we are taken back to 1957 and a show featuring rat pack style double act Lanny & Vince, it looks slightly wrong having Colin Firth playing Vince, a rat pack style character. But trust me with in minutes of watching Firth & Bacon performing as this old style double act the worries vanish because they are good. You can see the influences, the characteristics which have been taken from the likes of Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr and Jerry Lewis but with their own twists to make it believable and recognizable.
Now what follows on from their is not quite as good because we also meet Karen who in 1972 is employed to work on a story about Vince with his co-operation and as such she wants to know all about how chambermaid Maureen was discovered dead in their room as it immediately lead to their act ending. It's not so believable because unfortunately Alison Lohman is not strong enough as a journalist especially one who would be given such a high profile book to write. It also doesn't work because director Atom Egoyan has us jumping all over the place, not just between the 50s and 70s but also in the timeline of events during 1957 when the woman is found dead. We go from before to after, to when it happened and back to before and sadly it makes "Where the Truth Lies" disjointed and a bit of a hassle to follow.
And that is a crying shame because ignoring the flitting all over the place and the styling "Where the Truth Lies" is great. The whole recreation of the 50s and the life of this rat pack duo is brilliant especially when you have all the secrets being revealed such as Vince's violent streak away from the public, brought on by the use of drugs and the fact that Lanny would use their stage show to scout the audience for women to take back to his hotel room. This whole side feels authentic and great fun, bringing to life what many people imagined what was going on especially when we also meet Lanny's valet Reuben, a Mr Fix it style character.
And to be honest the whole mystery of how Maureen died is just as fascinating and surprisingly shocking as this side of the movie is saturated in sex. In fact it has to be said that "Where the Truth Lies" has a surprising amount of sex scenes including a threesome which takes you by surprise as does a scene of lesbian love making. But whilst these sex scenes are surprisingly visual they are not gratuitous, they not only set the atmosphere but are also pivotal in the murder of Maureen.
What this all boils down to is that "Where the Truth Lies" is well worth watching because the whole aspect of an old murder being solved combined with a rat pack style double act is brilliant. In fact both Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth are surprisingly good when it comes to this Martin & Lewis side double act. But unfortunately the casting of Lohman is wrong and combined with a story which flits all aver the place it becomes a little too disjointed.