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Flash Movie Review: The Oxford Murders

It started in high school, where there were a couple of teachers who had an edge to them. In other words their teaching styles were not the norm. ¬†Students, me being one of them, gravitated to these teachers’ classes because we felt they understood us, treating us more like adults than high school students. However, when I went to college I really started to understand the power an instructor could have over their students. My European history professor was an expert in his field; our textbook was written by him. He was German with a heavy accent whose field of expertise was World War II. His classes were filled with these incredible tales of high drama and intense personal insight to what was actually taking place in the areas he travelled. I do not know if it was due to his intensity or passion, but he was the only instructor I had who used a healthy dose of profanity. And pity the student who was not paying attention and asked him to repeat himself. The teacher would say stuff where these days he would have been written up by his supervisor. His outrageous behavior would not only draw students to him, it would turn some of them into groupies; or worse yet, into these tail wagging pets who would do anything to get his praise. ¬† ¬†MARTIN’S, played by Elijah Wood (The Lord of the Rings franchise, Green Street Hooligans), sole purpose for doing his graduate work at Oxford University was to get Professor Arthur Seldom, played by John Hurt (The Elephant Man, V for Vendetta). He was willing to try anything, even solving a murder, to get Arthur’s attention. John Hurt was the draw for me in watching this crime thriller. I have to say he gave a good effort to bring his character to life. The beginning of the story held my attention as the cast, which also included Julie Cox (Second in Command, Almost Heaven) as Beth and Leonor Watling (Talk to Her, My Life Without Me) as Lorna, were introduced. It appeared this film festival winner was going to be a traditional mystery like an Agatha Christie story. However, it was quickly apparent the writers did not know what they wanted to be; an Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, Jessica Fletcher type of sleuth mystery. I started not believing in the scenes as the script spiraled out of control. Everything started to feel like one big visual version of the board game Clue. Watching this DVD on a do nothing type of day would be ok I guess, but I cannot recommend signing up for class.


1 3/4 stars — DVD

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