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The Oxford Murders (2008)

Director:
Álex de la Iglesia
COUNTRY
Spain/UK/France
GENRE
Crime/Mystery
NORWEGIAN TITLE
The Oxford Murders
RUNNING TIME
108 minutes
Producer:
Álvaro Augustín
Mariela Besuievski
Gerardo Herrero
Álex de la Iglesia
Elena Manrique
Screenwriter (based on the novel by Guillermo Martinez):
Álex de la Iglesia


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Martin Elijah Wood
Arthur Seldom John Hurt ½
Lorna Leonor Watling ½
Beth Julie Cox ½
Podorov Burn Gorman ½
Mrs. Eagleton Anna Massey
Inspector Petersen Jim Carter ½

 

Review

Obscured mathematical puzzles, Agatha Christie style murder-mysteries and aloof intellectuals discussing them as if the lives taken were mere numbers in an equation. As directed by Basque filmmaker Álex de la Iglesia, The Oxford Murders chooses style over authentism and intellect over logic, hence devaluating much of the film's potential emotional impact. To be honest, this is a fundamentally unsentimental film if there ever was one. Even the ostensibly romantic scenes involving a pale Elijah Wood and the by-default-attracted Leonor Watling are as matter-of-factly as a mediocre math lesson. As such, de la Iglesia's attempt at connecting his conundrum tribute to an offbeat youth culture falls flat, but this doesn't mean his stylish film isn't effective on other levels. The intellectual duel between Wood and Hurt is constantly fascinating, and for all the meticulous plotting, the puzzle is both quite clever and rather alluring.

 

Copyright © 12.10.2009 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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