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Sunday, April 24, 2016

And Then There Were None (2015)

Eight strangers are invited to a secluded island. Most as guests but some as paid employees. They are greeted by a butler and his wife who acts as maid but no host. All of them are then accused of crimes they have gotten away with but when they start getting killed off one by one, the question arises ..... is there a murderer hiding in the mansion or is the killer one of them? Agatha Christie's classic novel has been filmed many times, perhaps the most famous is the 1945 Rene Clair film version. It's one of her 4 or 5 best novels. The screenwriter Sarah Phelps (wisely retaining the 1939 period) has done an amazing job of adapting it by going with the darkness of the Christie source material and running with it and making it even darker. At a 3 hour running time (it was done for British television), we get a methodical and leisurely but still intense murder mystery. My only minor complaints are the addition of profanity, sex scenes and cocaine parties. Not that I disapprove of them on moral purposes but they're so alien to the Christie universe and I seriously doubt she would have approved. Directed by Craig Viveiros. The excellent ensemble are Charles Dance, Miranda Richardson, Sam Neill, Toby Stephens, Noah Taylor, Aidan Turner, Maeve Dermody, Burn Gorman, Douglas Booth and Anna Maxwell Martin.

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