Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Separate Lies

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Screenwriter Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park, Vanity Fair) makes his directing debut with this devastating drama about a hit-and-run in a country village that takes the life of an old man and forever changes a coldhearted London solicitor (Tom Wilkinson), his beautiful wife (Emily Watson), and their blue-blooded neighbor (Rupert Everett). At 85 minutes the movie is beautifully focused, reaching deep into its characters as they confront terrible secrets but never sacrificing momentum as the mystery unravels. Wilkinson, returning to meatier fare after Batman Begins and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, gives one of the most complex performances of his career, and the leads are ably assisted by Hermione Norris as the victim's angry wife and John Neville as Everett's frail but wealthy father. R. Century 12 and CineArts 6, Pipers Alley, River East 21.

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