The Oxford Murders (2008)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  B.5

Spain/United Kingdom/France, 2008.  Canal+ España, Canal+, Eurimages, HBC, ICO, La Fabrique de Films, Oxford Crimes, Telecinco Cinema, Tornasol Films, Universal, Warner Bros.. Screenplay by Alex de la Iglesia, , based on the novel Crimenes Imperceptibles by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .

shows up at Oxford to study mathematics and, almost within minutes of arriving, finds himself embroiled in a web of murders.  While running from victim to victim trying to make the connections that might solve the case, he also sparks up an affair with sexy and befriends a professor (John Hurt) with whom he investigates clues.  Fuzzy plotting and an unsatisfying payoff are difficult to sit through in a film with a few moments of visual panache but clearly directed by a filmmaker uncomfortable with a screenplay in a foreign language; it’s another in a long line of Eurotrash genre pictures made with English-speaking actors for maximum box-office potential, and the compromise shows clearly. It also does not help that Wood is sorely miscast, constantly wide-eyed and bewildered in a role that has him relentlessly pursuing danger and sexually conquering women who could take him in an arm wrestle.  The cast also includes one of the last appearances of the great .

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