(Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, et al / DVD / R / (2005) 2006 / 20th Century Fox)
Overview: Anne and James (Watson and Wilkinson) seemingly have the ideal marriage until the arrival of a stranger (Everett) begins a string of astonishing events that leads to murder and adultery and threatens to unravel their lives forever.
DVD Verdict: Opening with idyllic shots of the English countryside in a wealthy neighborhood "Separate Lies" follows the disintegration of what appears to be a perfect marriage on the surface between a London solicitor James Manning(Tom Wilkinson), his wife Anne (Emily Watson) and Bill Bule (Rupert Everett in a cool performance) a mysterious wealthy stranger just returned from New York. When a local is killed in a hit and run accident suspicions fall on Bill. Manning pursues the case and uncovers an unsavory aspect of us life when he opens the door to try and convince Bill to do the right thing. A well made combination of character study and thriller Fellowes' film reminds me quite a bit of "Betrayal" with the emotional twists and turns the character must go through. All three main actors give terrific performances but Wilkinson's slow burn performance takes center stage. There the resemblance ends as the plot thickens ends as Manning, Anne and Bill are drawn further and further into a whirlpool of deceit. Anchored by a trio outstanding performances "Separate Lies" does what English dramas do best and Hollywood rarely can do anymore-create a drama focused on the characters and their world. "Separate Lies" features robust, bold colors that look marvelous in this transfer. The transfer has remarkable clarity and detail with no digital or analog artifacts that I can detect. Fox has pulled out all the stops in putting together the look and sound for this DVD. The 5.1 mix sounds quite good although it's not designed to use the format to best effect the surround speakers are used for subtle sound effects. Unfortunately we don't get much in the way of extras here just the original theatrical trailer and a commentary track however the commentary track by writer/director Fellowes is quite detailed with incredible insight and wit. This is one of the best commentary tracks I've heard so that makes up for the lack of other extras. Deleted scenes and outtakes would have been a nice edition to the film particularly with a trio of such terrific actors driving the drama in this film. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Commentary by writer/director Julian Fellowes
Original Theatrical Trailer