Gosford Park scribe Julian Fellowes' new film Separate Lies almost hits the nail on the head but falls short. This thriller follows a couple of Brits, James and Anne Manning (Tom Wilkinson from The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Emily Watson of Punch-Drunk Love fame) who get mixed up in a murder; things get really complicated when the wife's pompous lover William (played by Rupert Everett) enters into the formula, the lies and deceit pile higher and higher.

While Separate Lies establishes some suspense at the beginning, the "whodunit" surprise is given away halfway through. To move things along, Fellowes awkwardly delves into romantic drama, and while the cast portrays believable characters with deep emotions, the film feels disjointed. In addition, the abrupt ending may leave audiences confused and disappointed. Ultimately, this is a movie that offers plenty of subtle introspection, but most moviegoers will quickly dismiss it (not unjustifiably). Those who are still interested should prepare themselves for an hour and a half of English accents; still, Separate Lies seems destined not for greatness but rather for a long rotation on the Penn Video Network.


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