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This movie just doesn't make the grade. It graduates from the merely pedantic to the completely far-fetched. Like the book, it posits a serial killer who is playing abstruse mathematical games with Professor Seldom and his protégé at Oxford's Mathematical Institute. However, the film throws in all sorts of extra glancing mathematical references - to Fermat's Last Theorem, to Fibonacci's series, and to chaos theory. A lot of these references don't exist in the book or else are more integral aspects of the book. So the movie is like a Koosh ball, sprouting all sorts of alien little rubbery protrusions that make it briefly tantalizing, but that ultimately just cause it to come off as silly.
The movie reminds me of Tom Stoppard's play "Arcadia." While that play was acclaimed, when you thought about it logically, you realized that all its talk about chaos theory was completely adventitious and unnecessary.
There are other problems with this movie. Scenes that were treated more realistically in the book become grotesqueries in the movie. The film tries to combine the most garish elements of "The DaVinci Code," a CSI episode, and "The Zodiac Killer."
Whereas in the book, the protagonist's Russian roommate is just a normal person, in the movie he is portrayed by an actor who inexplicably chews up the scenery like a rabid dog.Read more ›
Once again murderous forces are at work in Oxford but this time seems to focus on mathematics and mathematicians. The story is well crafted and held my attention all the way through. The acting is good and involves the viewer in the activities and emotions of the characters although it was not easy to identify with any of them. The major roles are well done with Elijah Wood as the graduate student, John Hurt as the famous professor, Leonor Watling as the significant female interest, Julie Cox as the frustrated female interest, and Jim Carter as the determined police inspector.
The scenery and settings do a great job of enhancing the mood of the movie and all work together to create an entertaining evening's viewing. There is some partial nudity and bedroom activity which limits it to adult audiences. This one is not for children. All told it is a well done British mystery.
Martin (Wood) is a young American student at Oxford who is writing his thesis; he hopes to have the famous mathematician Arthur Seldom (John Hurt) advise him... only to have his hopes dashed.
But when Seldom visits the house where he is boarding, the two men find Martin's landlady dead -- and while at first it appears to be natural causes, the police discover that she was murdered. And when Seldom reveals that he was sent a strange message warning him about the murder, he and Martin begin speculating that they're dealing with an "intellectual serial killer."
At the same time, Martin finds himself in an odd love triangle between his landlady's neurotic daughter (Julie Cox) and a sexy Spanish nurse (Leonor Watling). But his mind is fixed on unraveling the pattern that may lead him and Seldom to the murderer -- and the greatest puzzle is one that no one may be able to figure out.
Pythagorus, the principle of uncertainty, sequential math and mathematical order versus chaos. "The Oxford Murders" feels a bit like a mathematical episode of "Masterpiece Theatre" -- vast venerable colleges, the tangled motives, and some seemingly impossible murders.And the idea of murder warnings based on sequential mathematics is a fascinating one...
... which becomes a problem, because we end up with endless, pompous discussions about truth, reality and philosophy.Read more ›
Martin (Elijah Wood) arrives at Oxford form his trailer house home in Arizona to study with the brilliant mathematics professor Arthur Seldom (John Hurt). He brings little with him as he settles in with roommate Yuri Podorov (Burn Gorman) who clearly has a loathing for Seldom and for all of the great minds that have apparently stolen his solution for a theory. His elderly and physically impaired landlady Mrs. Eagleton (Anna Massey), who worked on the infamous Enigma Code that saved England in WW II, warmly accepts Martin into her home, introduces him to her daughter Beth (Julie Cox) who makes it clear that the old lady is preventing Beth from having the life of a free person, a cellist who wants more from life than confinement as a caregiver. Martin discovers that Seldom is not available to take on new postgrad students, and Martin challenges Seldom in a large classroom as Seldom is declaring Ludwig Wittgenstein's theory that there is no real truth. That challenge begins a bond between the two and when they individually meet at Mrs. Eagleton's home and find her murdered, Seldom shares a strange note left in his mailbox indicating the murder is the first of a series linked by a mysterious pattern.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Can't say I was impressed with the story but Elijah's blue eyes were nice.Published 9 months ago by Runner-wc
Dark but intriguing. Don't know till end for sure who's the bad person is .Published 9 months ago by D J Forrester
Intriguing philosophical mystery for philosophers, scientists and other intellectuals who will appreciate the philosophical and scientific references and debate.Published 9 months ago by Chip