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The Truth

2004 cert 15, running time 90 minutes

Director: George Milton

The Truth is an outragous murder-mystery for the 'Me Generation'. Number three in TIME OUT's critics top ten films.

Starring William Beck, Elaine Cassidy, Stephen Lord, Elizabeth McGovern, Lea Mornar, Rachael Stirling, Zoe Telford and Karl Theobald.

Reviews

We've seen quite a few British comedies this year which confirm the dictum that you can never make a good film out of a bad script. The Truth didn't have that problem. Skilfully balancing black comedy with a murder-mystery (yes, you read right), George Milton's Highlands-set movie had some of the funniest scenes we saw all year. It also lacerated political correctness and group therapy with the precision of a surgeon. Did we mention that this film didn't get the audience it deserved either? Voted in Best 10 UK films 2006, BBC Film Network Dark British comedy set in a rural self-help retreat. It gets strange in parts, but is almost consistently funny. A low-budget indie that deserves to be seen. London Lite '"Irony has no place in this room," advises Donna Shuck (Elizabeth McGovern), as she welcomes a new group of variously needy individuals who've signed up for her seven-step programme, 'Adventures in Truth'. No place at Serenity Lodge in the remote Highlands, perhaps, but irony is plentiful in Milton's low-budget but highly satisfying, slyly intelligent UK indie. 'An inevitably motley crew gathers to confront the truth about themselves (and, of course, each other): feisty wheelchair-user Candy (Elaine Cassidy), bankrupt dotcom queen Martha, sensitive Spud, predatory letch Felix, nurse-turned-dominatrix Blossom, muso Scott, and Croatian Mia, whom Donna allows into therapy sessions in return for cooking and house-cleaning. Cue, just as inevitably given the way such movie gatherings go, an accelerating spiral of spiteful lies and recriminations, as the shared oath to tell the truth and nothing but takes its toll. 'Nothing else is inevitable, however, in this engagingly fresh take on a subgenre of potentially slim pickings. With consistently interesting plot twists and shifts in power between the uncertainly allied characters, the film's a real rollercoaster, alternating deliciously deadpan humour with serious insights, deft satire with dark suspense, and even managing to succeed, here and there, in several different tonal registers at once. 'Though it may seem clear where Milton's sympathy lies, he keeps pulling the rug from under our feet, so we're never quite sure whether we're watching a mystery thriller, a sophisticated parody or a wry comment on our capacity to turn ethics into whatever's expedient. Only at the end are we left with any certainty: the truth is dead. Long live the truth!' Geoff Andrew, TIME OUT 'Believe me. You can't handle The Truth.' Daily Mail 'The "truth seekers" are hideously and hilariously self-obsessed... the young cast are excellent and the dialogue never less than sharp.' Hotdog 'Well-acted and handsomely shot, and at its best recalls the pagan oddness of The Wicker Man, the institutionalised sadism of Lars von Trier's The Idiots and social combat of Polanski's Cul-de-Sac.' Uncut 'Skewers group therapy in hilarious and deadly style... an intelligent script with top-notch performances ... smart, courageous filmmaking.' BBC Online 'It gets impressively depraved, even a little Lars von Trier-ish, towards the end.' Sunday Telegraph 'This smart, funny and ambitious British movie satirises the "me generation"... as the movie moves from the uneasy group comedy of The Office to Agatha Christie mystery and onto Wicker Man menace, it keeps the audience entertained.' The Daily Record (Scotland) 'An occasionally wry satire of the self-help-loving "Me Generation" has the feel of a good sitcom ...George Milton fills it with enough ideas to keep things interesting.' The Scotsman 'Makes some razor-sharp observations on human nature. gripping and hilariously unhinged.' Shadows On The Wall 'Brilliant. A horribly funny movie. Had me weeping with laughter.' 26 'A very eccentric and very British low budget film, which is well worth seeking out.' THE INDEPENDENT 'An occasionally wry satire of the self-help-loving "Me Generation" has the feel of a good sitcom ...George Milton fills it with enough ideas to keep things interesting.' THE SCOTSMAN 'The Truth eludes easy categorisation, and is all the better for it. Divided, like Donna's programme, into seven discrete sections (or 'steps'), it begins as a hilarious spoof of contemporary confessional culture, then stumbles upon the seemingly different generic territory of the murder mystery, before finally, like its characters, losing the plot altogether, or at least concealing it beneath a layer of self-deluding spiritualist bromides. Any or all of Candy's fellows could be the killer, but by the end, the truth behind Mia's death has become a casualty of their faddish relativism, and Candy must learn to go along with the group's self-serving psychosis if she is to keep her head above water. The result is a mix of black comedy, horror, mystery and suspense, where any notion of 'the truth' is rapidly replaced by the players' collective fictions and the film's overarching cynicism. 'These shifts in genre are skillfully modulated by Elaine Cassidy, as she navigates the heroine's journey from initial rebellion to Hitchcockian suspicion and terror, and finally to half-hearted surrender. Elizabeth McGovern's endless stream of psychobabble gives the film its most memorable lines, while the supporting cast, familiar for the most part from British television, all expertly manage the switch from absurd and apparently harmless narcissism to something altogether more sinister and dangerous. 'Mornar's Mia is the only teller of truths at Serenity Lodge, and as such she represents the group's troubled conscience. Bury that, this film suggests, and you can convince yourself of the truth of anything, no matter how preposterous. It is, in this age of postmodernity, a hard lesson for us all - but also, thankfully, a very funny one.' Verdict: 'Counterbalancing a small budget with big ideas, The Truth darkly satirises the moral blindness of relativism without ever forgetting to surprise or amuse.' FILM FOUR 'Good and nasty British dark comedy about a group of self-absorbed idiots who go on a retreat and have an even worse time than you would imagine.' NEW 'Black humour and some witty observations of human foibles.' BOYS TOYS 'THE TRUTH is a perky British low budgeter ...Is it a parable about US cinema's dominance over British film culture ? Is it an allegory about Bush's dominance over Blair? Or is it - it probably is - a shrewdly ironic tale about the need to keep other people out of our brains, unless they have been properly screened, scanned and intellectually credit-rated?' NIGEL ANDREWS, FINANCIAL TIMES 'The "truth seekers" are hideously and hilariously self-obsessed... the young cast are excellent and the dialogue never less than sharp' HOTDOG 'Well-acted and handsomely shot, and at its best recalls the pagan oddness of The Wicker Man, the institutionalised sadism of Lars von Trier's The Idiots and social combat of Polanski's Cul-de-Sac' UNCUT 'Astute, intelligent and very funny satire of the me generation' THE LIST (SCOTLAND) 'While the drama?s occasionally intense, this is most enjoyable for its dark comedy, satirising the self-help world without falling back on lazy clichés (Karl Theobald draws from his Green Wing persona to particularly amusing effect). This won?t be for everyone, but if you?re willing to be drawn into its odd, dark little world, it has many pleasures.' Empire Magazine 'Funny dark and twisted. A great little film.' DAZED AND CONFUSED

DVD info

Format: DVD PAL Region 0

The Truth

Synopsis

DVD



Trailer

More details: The Truth website.

 

 

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