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With: Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Rupert Everett
Written by: Julian Fellowes, based on a novel by Nigel Balchin
Directed by: Julian Fellowes
MPAA Rating: R for language including some sexual references
Running Time: 87
Date: 03/19/2013

Separate Lies (2005)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Bad Manners

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Making his directorial debut, Oscar-winning writer Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park) attempts a kind of P.G. Wodehouse-like humorous snobbery with this moral roundelay. But the thin screenplay, sketchy characters and self-serious air quickly sabotage his efforts. A servant's husband is killed while riding his bicycle, and the subsequent investigation centers on three weekending Londoners: James Manning (Tom Wilkinson), his absent-minded, but alluring wife Anne (Emily Watson) and her lover Bill (Rupert Everett). Fellowes has an appreciation for the relaxing air of the English countryside -- if only these characters weren't blocking the view. The superb Wilkinson and Watson try their best to keep things light and moving along, but the usually snide, charming Everett appears to be embalmed.

DVD Details: Fox's 2006 DVD is a low-frills affair, Separate Lies comes with a Fellowes commentary track, a trailer, and the option to view the film in widescreen (1:1.85) or pan-and-scan (1:1.33).

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