Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Never mind the writer

I can only assume that Rupert Holmes, the author of Where the Truth Lies, is not involved in the film adaptation of his book, since he's not mentioned in this story about the film's troubles achieving an R rating.
Globe and Mail | Is the naked Truth too hot for censors?
Toronto — An explicit sex scene involving two men and a woman in Canadian director Atom Egoyan's latest movie is expected to earn the film a prohibitive rating in the U.S. that, if sustained, will "severely limit" its box office there, Mr. Egoyan predicted yesterday.

The Classification and Ratings Administration of the powerful Motion Picture Association of America plans to reveal its official rating of Mr. Egoyan's Where the Truth Lies no later than tomorrow. But given what Mr. Egoyan calls "the very conservative climate in America," he and the film's North American distributor, Toronto-based ThinkFilm Inc., "strongly suspect" it will be rated NC-17. This means no one 17 years of age or under in the U.S. will be allowed admission, even if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

While Where the Truth Lies has some tough violence, nudity, lesbian encounters and drug-taking, it is a sex scene involving stars Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon and the film's female lead, 29-year-old Rachel Blanchard, that seems to be giving U.S. adjudicators trouble -- something U.S. observers told Mr. Egoyan he might expect after the movie's world premiere in May at the Cannes film festival.

"I guess I'm naive; I really had no idea it would be a problem," the director said at that time.
It only takes one verifiable factual error to throw an article into question. Or shall I assume that the error I caught is the only one? Perhaps the reporter was so caught up in artistic issues that he failed to fact-check something as relatively trivial as who the female lead actually is. Having read the book, I can assure you that if the movie resembles the book (can't take that for granted, I realize), Blanchard's character [as listed at IMDB] isn't the lead. (I suppose I'm not giving too much away to call her the "Laura Palmer" of the story.)

We can dismiss the director's blithe claim of naivete--or, rather, we could if there were a Major Motion Picture Studio involved. None of the majors would entrust that much money to a director who has so little understanding of the American market.

Assuming he does understand the market, he's probably using notoriety to get a little free publicity for a film that otherwise would run unnoticed in the local art house.

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