Apartment Zero - Colin Firth in an 80s homoerotic art house movie

This is embarrassing - it’s December now and this review is from October *sigh*


Apartment Zero (UK/Argentina, 1988)

Seen: Saturday, 31st October 2009 (DVD)
Runtime: 124′
Director: Martin Donovan
Cast: Hart Bochner, Colin Firth
Production House: Producers Representative Organization, Summit Company
Plot: Adrian is an English man living in Buenos Aires. His financial situation forces him to rent out a room in his apartment - something he’s rather unwilling to do as he is a very private and isolated man. He has no friends, his neighbours distrust him and the only family member he has is his mother, who is currently in a mental institution. When Jack, an American, moves in, a very strange friendship develops between the two of them. And then there’s plenty of murders in the background ;)

Scene From The Film
This is a scene which happens right after Jack moves into the apartment *grin*

Impressions In Short
The two lead performances are great, but beyond that I thought the film was rather blah…

More About the Film
When browsing A Single Man reviews on imdb, I found a lot of praise for some of Colin Firth’s other performances. There were two that came up extremely often - one was Pride and Prejudice obviously, but the other was a small art house film called Apartment Zero that I’d never even heard of. So naturally I really wanted to see it ;) Having seen it, I totally agree - it’s a rather vulnerable sort of role and he really pulls that off.
I don’t get the opinions about the film though… It seems like most people either love it or hate it and I found it to be just an average weirdo art house movie.
The strong point of the film is the dynamic between the two lead characters. You’ve got Colin Firth pulling off the stiff British thing beautifully as usual and Hart Bochner getting all the American stereotypes out very well too. And they really have great chemistry together. The dialogue helps as well - there’s a lot of opportunity for subtext in it and both of them milk it (just check out the scene I embedded - I found it hilarious ;)). Not that the film goes much further than the subtext (there’s people out there on imdb arguing that there’s no homoerotic vibe in the film at all which I find rather strange :] to me they’re like flirting all the time for the first half of the film ;)).
Apart from the two lead performances and the way the characters are written, I thought the film was just average art house fair though. On the other hand, it seems to have some political tendencies and I didn’t get them at all (I’m historically ignorant as I keep saying *sigh*) - perhaps I would have liked it better if I’d understood that part of it.

Definitely a good watch for Colin Firth fans (and Hart Bochner fans, but I haven’t encountered too many of those :]). Beyond that, I’m not sure… Not something you should stay away from, but I wouldn’t particularly recommend it either.

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