Separate Lies (2005) Review

James and Anne Manning appear to have a good marriage when an accident happens in the country where they spend most of their weekends everything will be torn apart. Bill Bule recently returning back home seems to have happened at the very wrong time.


James Manning is a rather successful lawyer and works hard in his job, and then spends the majority of his weekends at the house in the country. Told by his wife Anne to enjoy the parties and social gatherings, this also includes playing in a cricket game. When the rather dashing Bill Bule returns to live with his father, not long divorced with two young sons, he is drawn towards Anne and likewise.

When an accident is uncovered within the small village a man is fighting for his life in hospital after being hit by a Range Rover when on his bike. Everything surrounding this is a little strange though as Maggie is convinced she saw Bill’s car yet not enough evidence stands for this. She just happens to be the housekeeper for Anne and James. Although the bigger twist which was totally obvious all along was that an affair was going on between Anne and Bill.

This truly knocks James as he did not see it coming, although as a viewer from that first meeting between the pair it was very easy to guess it was going to happen. I guess what actually happened for the accident was a little bit more of a twist and the fact that James wants to actually protect his wife despite the fact that she obviously did not really care about him all that much considering she as happier with another man. Then when Bill is suddenly ill and we are supposed to feel sorry for everyone in that situation are we?

I feel the story had the potential to be very engaging but that didn’t really happen as it ended up being a little bit boring and obvious what was going to happen next. It could have been incredibly harder hitting and really looked into the affair and the way it broke the pair as a couple and how James struggled to accept that she did not love him anymore, but it kind of just falls apart.

Tom Wilkinson is probably the standout when it comes for the performances and I guess that is not really something that will come as a surprise, he has taken on many different roles throughout his career and this was another decent one. Was just a shame that the story fell apart despite his best efforts. Emily Watson and Rupert Everett making up the more leading roles with Linda Bassett and Hermione Norris in supporting roles. I just feel its more of a shame than anything that it just falls utterly short of being even decent.

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