5.8/10
589
9 user 8 critic

Towards Zero (2007)

L'heure zéro (original title)
A wealthy woman holds a party at her estate for family and friends. When a solicitor and the hostess herself are both murdered, only the trusty Inspector Bataille can put together the pieces.

Director:

Pascal Thomas
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
François Morel ... Le commissaire Martin Bataille
Danielle Darrieux ... Camilla Tressilian
Melvil Poupaud ... Guillaume Neuville
Laura Smet ... Caroline Neuville
Chiara Mastroianni ... Aude Neuville
Alessandra Martines ... Marie-Adeline
Clément Thomas Clément Thomas ... Thomas Rondeau
Xavier Thiam Xavier Thiam ... Frédéric 'Fred' Latimer
Hervé Pierre Hervé Pierre ... Ange Werther
Vania Vadim Vania Vadim ... Pierre Leca (as Vania Plemiannikov)
Jacques Sereys Jacques Sereys ... Me Charles Trevoz
Valériane de Villeneuve Valériane de Villeneuve ... Emma
Paul Minthe Paul Minthe ... Heurtebise
Carmen Durand Carmen Durand ... Barrette
Dominique Reymond Dominique Reymond ... Mme Geoffroy - La directrice du collège
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Storyline

When Guillaume has the bizarre idea of inviting his ex-wife Aude to a family reunion at the luxurious coastal estate of his wealthy Aunt Camilla, his tempestuous new wife Caroline becomes filled with rage. Guillaume hopes that they'll become friends but the two women despise one another. But things turn ugly when Camilla is found dead in her bedroom - and only the trusty Inspector Bataille can put together the pieces. But as the Inspector untangles her mysterious death, he also begins to unearth dark family secrets, brewing jealousies, and perhaps even a murderer in their midst. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Mystery

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Studio Canal [France]

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

31 October 2007 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Towards Zero See more »

Filming Locations:

Dinard, Ille-et-Vilaine, France See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,202,099
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Les Films Français See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the novel Towards Zero by Agatha Christie. See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: The American (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly 'fidèle'

Towards Zero is not one of Agatha Christie's more famous novels, but for a murder mystery lover it is almost an essential read. It has been several years since I read it, but I very distinctly remember how much I enjoyed it as well as the plot and the substantial twist.

This French movie adaptation is set in present day Bretagne, but other than that remains - rather surprisingly - true to the book, more so than, for example, the Diana Rigg version of Evil Under The Sun. All important plot points remain intact. Not that this in itself signifies a great movie. Au contraire, vraiment - while the cinematography, setting, music and pacing are more or less good, many of the actors overact their characters to the point of becoming caricatures instead. The shrewish wife or the maid (vaguely reminiscent of Nancy Walker's Yetta in Murder By Death, nevertheless wholly unsuitable for a serious murder mystery) are best examples of this. Danielle Darrieux is, quite unsurprisingly, not among those, and her much too brief appearance as Aunt Camilla is the only real performance in the picture. François Morel as the detective comes close to one, but not quite close enough.

Final verdict: Entertaining murder mystery with some hammy performances, fast pacing and a great twist by Dame Agatha herself. Also useful as a French listening comprehension practice, especially if you're as lucky as I am and your copy lacks subtitles.


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