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Jeff Kober, left, as a photographer and Leslie Hope, right, as recovering alcoholic Melanie in Lie Exposed.

Dana Ross/Courtesy of Mongrel Media

  • Lie Exposed
  • Directed by Jerry Ciccoritti
  • Written by Jeff Kober
  • Starring Leslie Hope, Bruce Greenwood and David Hewlett
  • Classification 14A; 85 minutes

rating

I won’t pretend to know the intricacies of tintype photography, although from a quick Google search, it seems like a painstaking artistic practice requiring equal parts patience and passion. Certainly it seems a more involved and careful process than the making of Lie Exposed, the new Canadian drama that uses tintype as the connective narrative tissue to tell a half-dozen stories of romantic dissatisfaction.

The film’s dominating thread follows Torontonian Melanie (Leslie Hope), an alcoholic who ditches her husband Frank (Bruce Greenwood) for Los Angeles – every Canadian actor’s dream! – where she begins an affair with a near-wordless tintype photographer (played by the film’s screenwriter, Jeff Kober). This vignette involves a lot of breathy voice-over nonsense from Melanie about desire and fear and how “nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.” It is dull and repetitive and may induce embarrassing memories of catching furtive glimpses of various soft-core movies on Citytv from back in the mid-1990s, but at least Melanie and Frank’s story contains a drip of sincerity to it.

What’s new in theatres this weekend, including the delightful Onward and regrettable Rob Ford film Run This Town

Grace Lynn Kung, left, as Betsy, and Benjamin Ayres as Greg in Lie Exposed.

Courtesy of Mongrel Media

The rest of Kober’s couples are a collection of clichés and irritations, played with might-as-well-get-this-over-with resignation by Toronto performers whose faces are as familiar as their characters’ plights (David Hewlett’s emotionally wrecked divorcee, Grace Lynn Kung’s sexually withdrawn wife, Tony Nappo’s real-men-talk-like-this schlub, etc.). Director Jerry Ciccoritti boasts an IMDb profile as long as Lie Exposed’s list of funding “thank you’s,” but he cannot begin to enliven Kober’s meaningless mini-dramas. Curiously, Kober’s script is adapted from his own play, titled Pornography. Most everyone’s time would be better served by typing that into Google, and discovering something genuinely interesting.

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Lie Exposed opens March 6 in Toronto and Vancouver

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