'Lies': Most of D.C. Was Left on the Cutting Room Floor

Russell Crowe in the new thriller, which was supposedly filmed here last fall.
Russell Crowe in the new thriller, which was supposedly filmed here last fall. (Francois Duhamel - )
By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Thursday, October 9, 2008

For this they spent three weeks in Washington? In the new terrorism thriller "Body of Lies," our fair city seems to flicker across the screen in a matter of seconds! This despite the fact that director Ridley Scott burrowed in for the better part of a month last fall, affording us many star-sightings of Russell Crowe and Leo DiCaprio in local bars.

What you see of Washington in the movie, which is based on our colleague David Ignatius 's novel and opens Friday:

· Crowe's character briefly lounging on a boat docked outside his Annapolis home.

· Crowe glimpsed picking up his kid from a school -- Edgewater's St. Andrews United Methodist Day School -- and later yakking with DiCaprio via cellphone while at a soccer match there.

· Crowe and DiCaprio arguing on the Mall (after one of those classic panning shots of the Capitol that could be the same shot they use in every D.C. movie), the only extended Washington scene.

Ironically, our region is on better display in scenes that have nothing to do with Washington. That scene at the Amman airport? Filmed at Dulles. That terrorist hide-out in England? Actually Baltimore. And local audiences will groan during that scene at "Amsterdam's" tourist district -- totally Eastern Market.

(Note: As in so many movies, the official-Washington scenes are shot in cool, bloodless shades of steel blue and gray. Is this how we really look to them?)

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