Fox Searchlight Pictures | Release Date: September 16, 2005
7.0
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 14 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
8
Mixed:
5
Negative:
1
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8
keithw.Oct 4, 2005
Strong cast-great clothes-a Range Rover product placement and I loved it all.
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7
RhettW.Dec 28, 2005
Very subtle stuff. It was not totally satisfying.
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6
MarkB.Oct 24, 2005
Screenwriter Julian Fellowes, who gingerly but sardonically peeled the lid off uppercrust indiscretions and worse in Gosford Park, does so again on a much smaller scale here. In telling the tale of two extramarital lovers who get involved in Screenwriter Julian Fellowes, who gingerly but sardonically peeled the lid off uppercrust indiscretions and worse in Gosford Park, does so again on a much smaller scale here. In telling the tale of two extramarital lovers who get involved in a hit-and-run accident, and the cuckolded spouse who participates in the coverup, Fellowes in his directing debut is clearly not Gosford's Robert Altman, which you probably knew going in; even at 85 minutes, the pacing gets noticeably draggy. More problematic is that despite the three leads, Tom Wilkinson (The Full Monty, In The Bedroom), Emily Watson (Breaking the Waves, Red Dragon) and Rupert Everett (Another Country, My Best Friend's Wedding), all being outstanding actors who absolutely never disappoint (and Watson deserves special praise here because, owing to her integrity in portraying such a despicable individual, this is the first film I've ever seen her in that I didn't fall absolutely in love with her--now that's a major acting accomplishment!) the movie is frequently a singularly frustrating experience because their characters are either callous jerks or spineless wimps. I still haven't decided what's more annoying--the fact that two-thirds of the triangle repeatedly treat the third so callously or that the third side endlessly lets them; the result (with one gratifying but only momentary exception) is a film that plays like a strangely genteel piece of S&M. Of course, this has much to do with the characters, setting and filmmaker being so bloody civilized and British, and I amused myself throughout the picture by envisioning the same material, minus the profanities and the Jerry Springer joke, transported to our side of the ocean and filmed in black and white, playing more satisfyingly as a 1945 film noir starring Edward G. Robinson and Barbara Stanwyck...at least until the third act, when it weirdly morphs into a gender-twisted version of a 1932 two-handkerchief tale of marital sacrifice (final shot and all) starring...Edward G. Robinson and Barbara Stanwyck! Expand
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6
SHFBDec 5, 2005
I was hoping to like this film more than I did because I love Watson and Wilkinson. But I found it rather uninteresting and uninspired and contrived. The best thing about it is the way it captured the cold dreariness of the English seaside I was hoping to like this film more than I did because I love Watson and Wilkinson. But I found it rather uninteresting and uninspired and contrived. The best thing about it is the way it captured the cold dreariness of the English seaside town during the off-season - that was truly brilliant! But the rest of the movie was rather pedestrian. Watson's character was particularly spineless and annoying (although I loved the chopping vegetables scene. That was perfect). Expand
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8
AngusH.Nov 19, 2005
I really enjoyed it - the acting was superb, and even though most of the revelations come as no surprise, there's a lot of tension building up. The last 20 minutes don't seem to be connected very much to the rest of the film,but I really enjoyed it - the acting was superb, and even though most of the revelations come as no surprise, there's a lot of tension building up. The last 20 minutes don't seem to be connected very much to the rest of the film,but coming out of the theatre, I realised that the film is about the couple and the choices they make, not necessarily about the main events which put them in the unenviable positions. Expand
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8
HalBNov 2, 2005
Okay, my girlfriend wanted to see this, the title was intriguing, and the lead actors (Watson and Wilkinson) are two of my favorites. Turned out to be one of the best little dramas I've seen in quite a while, one of those films that Okay, my girlfriend wanted to see this, the title was intriguing, and the lead actors (Watson and Wilkinson) are two of my favorites. Turned out to be one of the best little dramas I've seen in quite a while, one of those films that stays in your head for a while. Nuanced lead performances, excellent supporting performances. Wilkinson is amazing. Is it more important to forgive and move on, or to do the right thing? What choices are we willing to make for love? For morality? Are they ever one and the same? Expand
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9
BerryJ.Apr 16, 2006
Worth seeing for the classy English village and room settings alone, but throw in an interesting rupture in the lives of a small group of people and I think this is near cinematic perfection.
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10
StephaneM.May 29, 2007
For someone who likes to see life as shades of grey, and apreciate seing extremely polite people with impossible choices, it is the most beautiful movie that I ever saw.
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9
Pablo6120Oct 17, 2016
Separate Lies (British – 2005)
It was 1:30 AM CDT and I could not sleep. So I did the worst possible thing, according to sleep experts and turned on the TV. After a brief search of on demand fare, I noticed the British film starring two
Separate Lies (British – 2005)
It was 1:30 AM CDT and I could not sleep. So I did the worst possible thing, according to sleep experts and turned on the TV. After a brief search of on demand fare, I noticed the British film starring two actors whom I greatly admire: Tom Wilkinson and Emily Watson. My interest was also tweaked by the fact that this was Julian Fellowes directorial debut. He is a much lauded writer and actor, known best for Downton Abbey, Gosford Park and From Time to Time.
James and Anne Manning (Wilkinson & Watson) have recently moved into a country manor to get away from the city life, after living for years in a flat in London. A well-known and highly regarded barrister, David works long hours and arrives home after a train commute. Their marriage appears to suffer as Anne longs for a more social life, while James is curmudgeon and prefers isolation and rest from a stressful occupation.
The onset of an accident involving a cyclist, who was the Manning’s housekeeper’s husband, and a large, black SUV, invades the Manning’s lives. This deepens the plot-line of the film and an acquaintance, Tom Bule is implicated, well-played by Rupert Everett. There are some unexpected twists and turns, as the involvement of the Manning’s cleaner, Maggie (Linda Bassett) becomes an imposing factor.
A solid adult drama, Separate Lives requires attention to details. One is reminded of Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot in the steady police work of Inspector Marshall (David Harewood).
For those of us who tire easily of super hero and CGI laden cartoon-like flicks, Separate Lives satisfies the inner soul.
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