A Perfect Murder [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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A Perfect Murder (Special Edition)
The husband (Michael Douglas) is a currency trader whose portfolio value is going right down the drain. The wife (Gwyneth Paltrow) is the heiress to a $100 million fortune. The marriage is not a happy one, but the promise of long-term affluence keeps them together. The wife pursues an affair with an artist (Viggo Mortenson) who gives her all the passion she doesn't get at home, and when the husband finds out, well ... someone's going to pay with their life. Who will the unlucky one be? We wouldn't dare spoil the elegant plot twists of this devious thriller, but it's well known that Douglas excels at portraying greedy characters with ice in their veins. Here, it's easy to assume that Douglas has pulled off, as the title implies, a killing that nobody will ever pin on him. But this is the kind of glossy thriller (loosely inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder) that delights in disrupting your expectations, so it grabs your attention right up to the final scene. It's a bit too cold really to draw you in but with its able cast and stylish direction by Andrew Davis, this less-than-perfect murder thriller is still definitely worth a look. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.comSee all Product description
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The movie tells how she is taken in by an artist, and how her husband Douglas reacts. His acting is good, but not up to the level of some of his earlier roles, which would be hard for him to match in every movie. Gwyneth is likeable and adds some zing.
I watched the movie because of Douglas, but as the movie progresses the center of attention seems to shift from Michael towards Gwyneth, a more recent Oscar winner, because of her believable acting and her sympathetic role. So even with the less than a great new role for Douglas, the movie is entertaining. It is definitely worth a watch, especially for Douglas fans, which includes myself plus I am now a budding Paltrow fan.
This is a minimalist movie, and although the credits (see the Amazon movie info above) lists many actors, there are really only four characters of note in the play, i.e.: the two stars both Oscar winners along with the artist and a police detective. It is the type of movie that lends itself to being just a short play since most of the action takes place in just two apartments. The movie is set in New York city, and the director manages to work in a few local attractions such as Penn Station, the Staten Island Ferry, some skyline, and some museums. But the New York scenes are just a bonus, like icing on a cake, and the movie really hangs on the stars and their interactions. It is a good drama with some surprising turns.
Highly recommend but just 4 stars.
To the outside world, slimy businessman Steven (Michael Douglas) and his beautiful, much younger wife Emily (Gwenyth Paltrow) seem to be like the perfect married couple. However, Emily embarks on an affair with a handsome young painter called David (played by Viggo Mortensen). Emily intends to tell Steven of her infidelities and that she is going to leave him, but what she doesn't know is Steven is already aware of the affair and Mortensen's motives aren't based on love. Steven has a plan, and that plan is to murder his own wife, with more than a little help from her lover.
I LOVE this film. Very few thrillers can grab my attention for the full two hours like this one did. The acting is first class (a special mention must go to David Suchet, a fine actor and is obviously (as he is perhaps best known for playing Poirot) at home as the suspicious detective, and the many twists and turns throughout the story run at a good pace. I can't help feeling a little sorry for Michael Douglas' character though, cheating is wrong, and a reason to want to seek revenge, but is hardly the excuse for murder (which should never be the reason for anything) of course.
I think 'A Perfect Murder' is a first rate thriller and should please fans of Hitchcock movies. It's a compelling movie and will keep you engrossed until the end. Highly recommended!
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