HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Unbelievable Truth, The A General Dissatisfaction With Everything
Year: 1989
Director: Hal Hartley
Stars: Adrienne Shelly, Robert John Burke, Chris Cooke, Julia McNeal, Katherine Mayfield, Gary Sauer, Mark Chandler Bailey, David Healey, Matt Malloy, Edie Falco, Jeff Howard, Kelly Reichardt, Ross Turner, Paul Schulze, Mike Brady, Bill Sage, Tom Thon
Genre: Comedy, Drama, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Josh (Robert John Burke) is hitchhiking to his home town, not having anywhere else to go, but nobody is stopping for him until a car breaks down and parks on the hard shoulder. Being skilled in mechanics, he is able to help the driver get his car started and in return receives a lift, or at least he does until he admits he is fresh out of prison, which leads the driver to stop the vehicle and order him out. He does get another lift, and soon is back at the place he left all that while ago, though nobody is happy to see him, what with the rumours and all...

Make that almost nobody, because there is one girl who is intrigued by his presence, and she is Audry Hugo, played by Adrienne Shelly, the actress who more than anybody brought the films of Hal Hartley into the pop culture consciousness. With this, her screen debut, and her following film Trust she brought a generation to American indie cinema hoping to get the same buzz from the characters therein that she generated for them there, and she stayed true to her indie roots for the rest of her career, not to mention remaining the darling of film fans worldwide who appreciated such efforts.

But now, watching her is a lot more poignant knowing that she was murdered aged forty, leaving a young daughter and a husband behind and all those fans and those whose minds she had slipped shocked and bewildered. This has, if anything, made those Hartley starring roles she took at the beginning of her career all the more precious, and while there were sceptics as to the director's virtues even at the time this was released there would be few who doubted the worth Shelly brought to them. In her character of Audry, she depicted what would be dismissed as excessive indie quirks by many if she had not been so, well, believable.

Audry is about to start college, but that's not the reason she "forgets" about attending high school, the real reason is that she is obsessed with the idea that the world is about to end, likely thanks to the Cold War bringing about nuclear armageddon. Most people saw this after that period was over, but that studied yet naive nihilism was something which struck a chord, mainly because the sort of person who would enjoy this film was the sort of person who could completely relate to Audry's feelings of helplessness in the face of forces far more vast and powerful than she could do anything to change. So when this mysterious not-quite-stranger enters her life, she is immediately intrigued.

Nobody in town can make up their minds what Josh is supposed to have done, but they're pretty sure he was convicted of murder even if the details escape them. He gets a job with Audry's father (Chris Cooke), an amusingly temper-prone chap who wants the best, but is constantly frustrated: every character here finds themselves in the same position, with their plans going awry when real life intrudes. When Mr Hugo gets his daughter a job to pay for her acceptance to Harvard (she had to go for the most expensive university, didn't she?), it puts her on a path to becoming a model, which leads to "tasteful" nudity in magazine advertisements, leaving him apopleptic that yet again his hopes have been distorted. But what of the unelievable truth of the title? That's connected to what Josh's crime really was, a state of affairs even he didn't grasp, and the message of people making up their own minds about others with only rumour and gossip to go by. There was more to this, which in its deliberately stilted, mannered way led to new avenues for "dialogue is king" indie film. Music by Jim Coleman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2266 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Hal Hartley  (1959 - )

Intelligent American writer and director who deals with with themes of love and the family in a humourous, distinctively talky style. His best films are his first three - The Unbelievable Truth, Trust and Simple Men - all of which combine a sharp wit with melancholy edge to produce affecting portraits of small town American life. Since then, Hartley's best work has been in short films like Surviving Desire, NYC 3/94 and The Book of Life, but Amateur, Flirt and Henry Fool are still intriguing, with only 2001's bizarre No Such Thing an out-and-out failure. Regularly uses the same actors, including Martin Donovan, Robert Burke, Elina Löwensohn and Adrienne Shelly.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: