Directed by: Jim Hemphill
Starring: Lea Thompson and John Shea
Talkies. After the silent era films with sound were called talkies. Ironically enough films have moved away from conversation and grown (or digressed) into an era of pure visual spectacle. The Trouble with the Truth is a throw back in many ways but in others its quite progressive. The film centers around Emily (Lea Thompson) and Robert (John Shea) who are divorced couple having dinner, that's it, a couple talking. This is the kind of film that we rarely see, one that is completely built on performance and writing. The set pieces in this film are emotional ones and they carry far more weight than anything I've seen in a multiplex for years.
Thompson gives the strongest performance of her career and is absolutely captivating to watch in this film. I've always enjoyed her work but I had no idea how good she was. This is the kind of film that has made me reevaluate her work as a performer. John Shea is also wonderful in the film. He has a difficult task in the role of Robert, he plays an aging jazz performer who sleeps around with women half his age and seems content to keep his emotional attachments minimal. In the hands of a lesser actor he would have come across as selfish, immature and sleazy... ok, he still comes across that way but he is still somehow likable and that is definitely a credit to his performance.
The film itself is a pleasure to watch. It has a classically beautiful and romantic look that we rarely see these days. My wife, who never makes comments on the way a film looks, took notice of how "pretty" the film was. For a film with such a limited scope it never feels claustrophobic or repetitive, its aware of its size but never limited by it.
This film is currently streaming on Amazon and makes a great film for Valentines day. Avoid the busy restaurants and stay at home this year; get a bottle of wine, curl up on the couch with your partner and put on The Trouble with the Truth. I loved this film, but more than the film I loved the conversation it inspired with my wife. After the film was over we sat up for hours talking. It reminded me of how we were when we were dating. It didn't matter that we had work in the morning, we were caught up in a moment.