Creature with the Atom Brain

I’m sometimes credited with an ability to draw surprising connections, but I think it’s life that does that. Here’s a copy of Atom Egoyan’s Martin-and-Lewis inspired erotic thriller WHERE THE TRUTH LIES, with a sticker marking it as the former property of Larbert Library. Larbert was the birthplace of Laurel & Hardy co-star/nemesis James Finlayson. Factor in Jerry Lewis’s oft-stated and demonstrated admiration for Stan Laurel and we might have the beginnings of a blog post, if I weren’t so thick with the cold (and I mean THICK).

I enjoyed some early-ish Atom Egoyan but I worry about this one. It makes me morbidly curious, of course. And I know Colin Farrell Firth and Kevin Bacon aren’t literally playing Martin & Lewis. That would be crazy. But then again, Jeremy Northam once played Dino in a TV biopic of the duo, and that’s every bit as insane. (Very good actor but, you know, no goombah.)

Has anybody seen this Egoyan and would I be wasting my time totally?

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9 Responses to “Creature with the Atom Brain”

  1. Sudarshan Ramani Says:

    I saw it and I liked it and it’s damn intelligent and interesting like so much of Atom Egoyan’s films are. It’s not really about Martin and Lewis or Hollywood…though it kind of does nowadays touch on the whole Me Too and Times Up stuff, albeit not in ways that many would like (and that makes it interesting in a film-that-wouldn’t-be-made-today sense).

    It’s a pretty dark and bleak movie though, and it explores multiple layers of mendacity and memory which are classic Egoyan themes.

  2. Hmmm… I watched the opening. I thought it was a mistake to show the act. You know Scorsese decided not to show Jerry doing his monologue in King of Comedy because he didn’t want the audience reaching their own conclusions about whether the character was funny. In the movie, we just take the other characters’ word for it.

    Here, you have two non-comics who don’t have a “thing” together, working with weak material, and we see an audience going into raptures. So you have two good actors but lose the sense of light comedians with a dark secret, surely. I’d have cast at least one actual comedian–it’s always interesting when they toss aside the Mr. Nice Guy mask.

    But none of this is a review cause I haven’t watched it. Just the grumblings of a man with a chesty cough.

  3. Firth is great in it (Firth, not Farrell) and there’s an unforgettable shot with some lobsters. It could be said to glamourise creepiness though, because an eye like Egoyam’s glamourises everything.

  4. That was what Verhoeven pointed out — he argued that Showgirls was a better, more honest film about sleaze than Exotica because Exotica made everything attractive and tasteful.

    I enjoyed Exotica more, but maybe that’s also Verhoeven’s point.

    But that kind of Rat Pack world, creepy as it doubtless was, obviously did give off a glamorous aura too.

  5. Of course by that argument “I Don’t Want To Be Born” trumps both, which might be one of the reasons I love it.

  6. I liked it but I think Lohman was miscast, and thus the weak link.

  7. Yes, having looked at it now, she seems to have all the wrong qualities in a subtle kind of way.

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