L’Heure Zéro

Overbaked Christie

November 6, 2007By Nick HammondFilm

Take an Agatha Christie novel, transport it to an old-fashioned house on the Brittany coast in the 21st century, throw in a few actresses who have even more famous parents (Laura Smet, daughter of Johnny Hallyday and Nathalie Baye, and Chiara Mastroianni, daughter of Marcello and Catherine Deneuve), add a sprinkling of aging actors who specialize in cameo roles before they get killed off (Danielle Darrieux and Jacques Sereys), include a detective who looks worryingly like Peter Sellers (François Morel), have all these ingredients stirred by two servants who bring a touch of slapstick farce to the whole process, provoking the hearty laughter of the cinema audience, then add a director (Pascal Thomas) who is now onto his second Agatha Christie adaptation and who feels that he must show his originality by tossing in a few surreal touches like a band playing wind instruments on a moving roundabout, put into the oven for 107 minutes (if you keep watching while it cooks, it will feel like a whole lot longer), and, hey presto, you will have a cake that tastes like, well, zero.

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