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Apartment Zero [Import]
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A tense psychological thriller, Apartment Zero concerns the intertwining of a loner, film buff Colin Firth (The English Patient) and his new mysterious boarder (Hart Bochner) in present-day Argentina. The new roommate is enigmatic and outgoing, befriending everyone that the poor loner could not. But Firth soon suspects a connection between his boarder's appearance and the reports of bodies in the streets murdered for political reasons.
The heart of the film lies in the increasingly bizarre relationship that develops between the two opposites, breeding the seeds of mistrust. An original and offbeat noir-type drama, the film, cowritten by David Koepp (Jurassic Park), proceeds at a slow and deliberate pace, gradually drawing the viewer deeper into the intrigue and isolation of Firth's tortured soul. Some genuinely creepy moments and an all-around macabre mystery make this film worthwhile viewing for mystery fans everywhere. --Robert Lane
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Top Customer Reviews
As a thriller it is superb, drawing you in slowly, building tension by what is left unsaid, by limiting your knowledge of the characters, and also by making them both thoroughly likable and somewhat detestable. A long, musical scene where the immensly attractive if somewhat sinister Jack rescues a cat from a ledge is a perfect example--he's irresistable to everyone, including the viewer, but we also see the way he stares down the cat and don't quite trust him. Colin Firth's lonely, film-obsessed and alienated loser Adrian is fascinating in his own right.
The heart of the movie lies in the many difficult relationships-Adrian's dislike of the other tenants, their adoration of Jack, and the marvellous, tense, sexually charged relationship between the two, sort of Withnail and I meets Vincent and Theo, meets The Talented Mr. Ripley.
If I have a complaint, it's that all this is carried a little too far, and I think it might have ended a bit better with that plunge from the balcony. Still, that's only a small quibble for an original and daring film like this.
That Jack is more than he seems at face, and that Adrian is even wierder than one might imagine gives this psychological study in character the foundation it needs to succeed. The film has a very eerie tone, unlike films made currently in the US, and is fraught throughout with political and sexual overtones left for the viewer's interpretation. Think La Ceremonie with male leads and an Argentinean backdrop, or better yet, Neil Simon's The Odd Couple twisted like a pretzel in this early David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Carlito's Way) script.
Challenging viewing not for all tastes, a movie for repertory film, about repertory film, I like it immensely.
If so, it's time for you (or them) to check THIS movie out. "The movie for people who watch too many movies," as I like to call it. As a movie fanatic who's seriously losing touch with the real world, Colin Firth's character makes a superb negative role model. Viewing this film can ONLY be a sobering wakeup call for someone too enamored of cinema.
Hart Bochner (hubba-hubba) is completely without conscience until his last moment, incredibly sexy, Colin Firth (OK, maybe not so hubba-hubba, but he sure is adorable) is a man of integrity being pushed to the brink, and the final scene with the two of them is nothing short of amazing brutal power - and the ultimate in 'black' comedy.
True, the structure is a little saggy, and the political agenda becomes more obvious near the end. But this is more than made up for by the vistas it shows us into human need, vulnerability, compulsion and deception. All this and great character acting and a killer sense of comical absurdity. You Betcha!
Most recent customer reviews
I first saw this movie when it was released many years ago and found it dark yet so intriguing.
Upon watching the movie a second time and years after, I loved the movie even... Read more
Die hard "art-house" fans will love this pre cell phone gem. Smoldering hot city shots of Buenes Aires meld beautifully with scenes of a shirtless Hart Bochner. Oh my! Story? Read morePublished on April 5 2011 by Kenneth O. Connor
A "film noire" with a lot of weird characters and a very twisted plot that leaves you guessing. A psychological study with a surprise, creepy ending. Read morePublished on March 27 2011 by L. McKellar
saw this at the Seattle Film fest in '89 and thought it was quite cool. The casting of Colin Firth was a coup for the filmmakers; he projects the squirmiest sense of psychosis... Read morePublished on Aug. 10 2006 by Raegan Butcher
"Apartment Zero" is one of the best psychological character studies ever put on film. Colin Firth (in an amazing performance) portrays Adrian LeDuc, a lonely movie theater owner in... Read morePublished on Jan. 26 2004 by Julie Farin
This 1988 thriller, written and directed by Hal Hartley alum Martin Donovan, is set in Buenos Ares and stars Colin Firth (Pride and Prejudice, Valmont) as a lonely young man whose... Read morePublished on June 8 2003 by audrey frances
Loved this movie. Loved it, loved it. Both actors were uniformly excellent, with Colin Firth as my personal favorite. The subtexts of the movie were subtle and fascinating. Read morePublished on Oct. 13 1999 by memyself&i
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