17 January 2006 | flechette
Well crafted, consistently funny black comedy
This black comedy set in the Highlands of Scotland may well slip by unnoticed in the cinema (and sadly, only gained a limited release in the UK) but it is well worth seeing.
Essentially it is an ensemble piece and unlike most ensemble films it works surprisingly well. All of the casting is spot on, but it's carried along with a great scary, starey performance from Elizabeth McGovern as Donna, an American psycho-babble New Age guru offering seven specimens of the weak and weird a philosophy of sorts to cling to.
The film effectively and ferociously attacks New Age airhead bullshit and you love to hate McGovern's appalling glib nonsense and insensitivity, and side with the wonderfully stroppy Candy (Elaine Cassidy). Yet no-one here gets away unsoiled by Donna's controlling influence.
On the surface this is black comedy with few laugh out loud jokes but an even and regular series of sniggers and shocks at the brazen (but actually almost credible) compromises that this lot of needy retreat attendees are willing to make. Underneath there is a genuine and surprisingly fresh examination of the nature of right and wrong and a whodunit to carry you through a running time that is too long for the material.
The film reminds me of David Mackenzie's film, "The Last Great Wilderness", which mines similar territory in both geography and storyline. However writer/director George Milton's "The Truth" is a much better and more rounded experience - and somewhat of a miracle on a budget that was reputedly minuscule. Milton is well worth watching for the future and his "Truth" is a sleeper destined for DVD cult status if ever there was one.