Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Monsieur Verdoux

Author(s): Joshua
Location: NY

"Monsieur Verdoux"

Directed by Philip Kaufman
Written by John Logan
Produced by Philip Kaufman
Based on a Idea by Orson Welles
Cinematography by Janusz Kaminski
Film Editing by Jamie Selkirk
Art Direction by Steven Lawrence
Costume Design by Jacqueline West
Original Music by Howard Shore

Main Cast

Bill Nighy - Henri Verdoux
Cate Blanchett - Annabella Bonheur
Joely Richardson - Mrs. Verdoux
Geraldine Chaplin - Lydia Floray
Brenda Blethyn - Ms. Marie Grosnay
Emily Mortimer - Irene Couvais
John Hurt - Detective Morrow
Jason Isaacs - Detective Warner
Matthew Goode - Lionel Couvais
Penelope Wilton - Vivian Couvais
Harriet Walter - Jean Couvais
Christopher Lee - Judge Talcoid

Tagline: "A Killer Comedy"

Synopsis: When one looks at Mr. Henri Verdoux, one thinks he's a kind, decent person. He's married to a beautiful wife and has a child, but behind those eyes lies a man who's business involves meeting rich women, gaining their trust, getting his hands on their bank accounts, then murdering them before moving on to the next target.

His sociopathic methods first started when he became an unemployed banker. In need to provide for his family, he began to meet all kinds of widowed women. He got to know them and in time would marry them. His first victim was Irene Couvais, a young rich widower, who was in need of a man in her life. Soon Verdoux would be married to more than just one women, and his killing spree will start to go out of control. His past comes back to haunt him when Irene's worried family informs the authorities that she's missing. Now Verdoux has the police on him. On top of that, he has a stubborn wife, Anabella Bonheur, who he finds difficult to get rid off, and a widow, Marie Grosnay, who he stills needs to marry. The clock is ticking fast for Verdoux's freedom & life, and yet he knows it, the question is will he surrender or continue to take the lives of innocent women.

What the Press would say:

Philip Kaufman brings back the classic 1947 version that starred Charlie Chaplin as the murderous Verdoux. This time it's Bill Nighy in the shoes of Monsieur Verdoux, and his performance is being called hilarious and scary. Kaufman brings back the same characters from the original and succeeds at making this version slightly more dark.

Bill Nighy deserves lots of praise for jumping into the shoes of the murderous Verdoux. Even though he's running around England killing women, we still feel is sensitive side as well. He loves his family, and as we know, he would do anything to protect them, but in the end we just can't love this character because his sociopathic ways never leave our minds. Especially when we see him murder wife Lydia Floray (the always fantastic Geraldine Chaplin), & Detective Morrow (the wonderful John Hurt). When Irene Couvais's family informs the police of her disappeareance, they right away start an investigation towards Verdoux. In the end, Verdoux bumps into the Couvais family. He is arrested, and later sentenced to death by the ruthless Judge Talcoid. Verdoux hangs in public.

Nighy isn't the only one here that makes this movie perfect. The glorious cast is pitch perfect in this killer comedy. Cate Blanchett gives a funny and mean performance as one of Verdoux's wives. She's a loud mouthed rich women who doesn't approve of Verdoux being absent from her life for so long. When Verdoux has had enough of her, he attempts to kill her at the wrong places & at the wrong times. Joely Richardson gives a heart warming performance as Verdoux's real wife. She's stuck in a wheelchair and is ill. The two have a child, and when Verdoux is arrested, she can't control her emotions.

Set in early 1900's, the great Janusz Kaminski uses is cinematography magic to make this picture look as beautiful as it can get. Being a respected remake from the Charlie Chaplin classic, having a great ensemble, & a great performance from the always magnificent Bill Nighy, Monsieur Verdoux is a one not to miss.

For Your Consideration
Best Picture
Best Director
Best Actor - Bill Nighy
Best Supporting Actress - Cate Blanchett
Best Supproting Actress - Joely Richardson
Best Crew
Best Ensemble
Best Cinematography
Best Film Editing
Best Art Diretion
Best Costume Design
Best Original Score

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