On Sky Movies Premiere this morning at 10am
Two men, one of them highly intelligent, the other not quite so intellectual, potter around in the vicinity of the Sheldonian Theatre and Blackwell’s Bookshop, stopping for a drink in The White Horse on Oxford’s Broad Street, as they attempt to investigate a series of murders.
Hmm, doesn’t it? However, I have been a little misleading, I have to admit. The pair of crime-crackers in this movie aren’t members of the Thames Valley Police force. The brainier one, Arthur Seldom (John Hurt), isn’t a detective, he’s an academic – a mathematician and authority on logical series. His investigative partner (who is actually also pretty brainy) is American logic student Martin (played by Elijah Wood).
The story kicks in, and subsequently races along at an intense pace, after an elderly woman is found dead. When interviewed by the police, Seldom reveals that he was sent a note informing him that the death would be the first in a series. Recognising that the killer is playing an intellectual game with him, Seldom, with the help of Martin, attempts to predict what will be the next in the series before the body count rises.
There’s no denying that much of The Oxford Murders brings Inspector Morse to mind. However, what’s different from that popular TV detective series is the highbrow mathematical problem solving that drives this film’s plot. It’s an adaptation of the award-winning novel by Guillermo Martinez.
Now, I’m sure as a book this story is easy to follow. However, on screen I personally found it a challenge to keep up. You’ll be alright with this movie if you’re a maths academic or Carol Vorderman, but if, like me, you like to take your time with mental arithmetic then I’d suggest recording this film so that you can watch it with the pause button of the remote to hand.
You think I’m joking? Seriously, those two academics whiz through their mathematical theories like Mrs Lovett’s mincing machine (no prizes for guessing what film I’m picking tomorrow).
The Oxford Murders is on today at 10am but it’s showing at various times throughout this week, so plenty of opportunities to get that Sky + box set up.