Monday, June 20, 2011

Toward Zero. With a Little Sex in It.

Last night, my sis and I watched the French adaption of Agatha Christie's Toward Zero. It was pretty good, save the two random sex scenes and the random nudity.

I know, I know. "It's French," you say. "Of course there's sex and nudity."

My problem isn't that the movie has The Sex. It's the way it was done. They took a story that had no sex in it, and then just threw it in there, I guess in an attempt to make it interesting to modern viewers. Or to make it French, maybe. They adhered pretty faithfully to the book other than that, so switching to suddenly to a scene of, "oh, they're having sex, randomly," it makes you very aware that they just stuck those scenes in. The scenes weren't done in a way go with the tone of the rest of the movie at all. It takes you out of the experience. Same with the nude scene. Well, really just a topless scene. A woman sits on her bed crying and drinking wine (naturally). And she's sitting there with no top on and no bra on but still wearing a slip on her bottom half. Do you know anyone who does that? If you are going to add sex and nudity to a movie based on a story that doesn't include that stuff, it had better have a point. You know? Like any scene in a movie, it needs to serve some purpose. It better not just be so you can sell it as having sex in it. It just doesn't fit, and it's insulting to your viewers, who you seem to think will not watch a movie without it.

But other than that, I liked it. The pacing could be better in some spots, but most of the characters looked the part and acted well, and they did a remarkable job of setting a movie in modern times but making it also making it look period. I mean, it was truly fabulous in that respect. The clothes, the cars, the styling, the decor--none of it is out of place now and yet it had an old-fashioned feel to it. RR and I were in awe of that aspect of it.

All in all, it was a far better adaption than some of the garbage that ITV has been putting together lately. If you like Agatha Christie, I'd definitely recommend it over any of that stuff.


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