Published on September 28th, 2016 | by Allan Brown0
The Trouble With The Truth Review
Running Time: 96minutes
Director: Jim Hemphill
Writers: Jim Hemphill
Cast: Lea Thompson, John Shea, Danielle Harris
When divorced couple Robert (John Shea / Gossip Girl) and Emily (Lea Thompson / Back To The Future) sit down to dinner after years apart, the stirring emotions of love, regret and the possibilities that lie in the margins of; what if, propel writer/director Jim Hemphill’s wonderfully sincere exploration into the complexities of love and relationships.
Emily, a now successful novelist finds herself in an altogether safe, but rather uninspiring and dull marriage. While Robert; a once talented jazz musician with dreams of making it, now finds himself dating barmaids half his age, while playing Celine Dion tracks a few nights a week to impassive tourists at a local bistro. As their evening progresses with more wine and whiskey consumed, intricate backstories and confessions are shared, as we the audience eavesdrop into a conversation that leaves no stone unturned. Sparks soon ignite as old feelings and emotions begin to resurface, as they discuss the up and down of their marriage respectively. The chemistry between the pair is undeniable and before long the sexual tension is palpable, but while this estrange couple show us there is still something very much between them, the question remains; was separating all those years ago an error, and if so, is it now too late to give it another go, or has that ship already sailed?
not since Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ or Derek Cianfrance’s ‘Blue Valentine’ has a film been so daring to explore the themes of love and relationships with such direct authenticity
The Trouble with the Truth (watch it here) plays out as one long conversation taking place over the course of an evening, and while it is shot modestly with only a handful of locations at its disposal, the film’s dramatic strength comes from both its intelligent screenplay – that is akin to a David Mamet play, and two utterly captivating performances from Shea and Thompson, who give absolutely everything. As a result, the dialogue is natural, relatable and most of all, REAL.
Hemphill’s decision to keep the film simple, devoid of any bells or whistles, allows you to become fully immersed in both its characters and drama as it unfolds before you. So intimate and personal is the journey of Robert and Emily, and so close and immediate do we stay throughout, in some way, it’s impossible to not feel effected or emotionally involved with them. This in turn, ensures Hemphill’s pitch perfect conclusion, to be utterly devastating.
Indeed, not since Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ or Derek Cianfrance’s ‘Blue Valentine’ has a film been so daring to explore the themes of love and relationships with such direct authenticity, and what a breath of fresh air it is.
Summary: A charming and deeply personal journey that capitalises on two wonderfully realised performances. If honesty in its purest form could be bottled and etched into film, The Trouble with the Truth would be it.