Biopic of sorts about Agatha Christie, the famed mystery writer. The story is told in flashback and from Christie's point of view at two distinctly different times in her life - one through the sessions she had with her psychiatrist after her famous 11 day disappearance in 1926 and the other through recollections she give at interviews with journalists on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the West End run of her play The Mousetrap. Christie had a free and open childhood, shattered somewhat by the death of her father. As a volunteer nurse, she met her first husband, Archie Christie. Much of the film deals with her disappearance in 1926 which came about following her husband's request for a divorce which would allow him to marry the woman with whom he had been having an affair. Her psychiatrist concluded that she had been in some type of fugue state and that her loss of memory was genuine. She eventually re-married, spending much of her time with in Syria and Iraq with ... Written by
[Reacting to Agatha's crying after he asks for a divorce in an angry tone]
I did tell you long ago that I hate it when people are ill or unhappy.
[She cries even louder]
It was everything to me!
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There is a freeze-frame of each of the main characters, accompanied by a caption saying what happened to them after the events of the film. Then the caption disappears and there are a few seconds of motion-picture footage, then the frame freezes again and a caption gives the name of the actor. See more »
Once, after a row with her husband, the mystery writer Agatha Christie went missing from her home for a few days without telling anyone where she had gone. For a brief time the press speculated that she might have been kidnapped, falling victim to the kind of plot development Christie might have used in one of her stories. This was the starting point for the movie 'The Lady Vanishes', and here it is dredged up again. Using scraps of the writer's own words, reported and written, this drama-documentary sets out to explore the inner workings of Christie's mind and reveal what was really going on when she did her famous bunk. Sadly the result is painfully pedestrian. The 1930s period hairstyles and clothes are all done as well as you would expect from the BBC; but an audacious lack of pace, the trite psychological 'insights' offered - insights that never really add up to anything - and the frankly dull performance from Olivia Williams as the young Christie (Anna Massie makes a much better fist of the elderly version) make for a very long 90 minutes indeed. One reads a lot about 'stillness' in front of the camera being important when acting for the screen, but Williams's resolute lack of expression acts like a lead lining. She has in the past been described as an actress (sorry, actor) people just like to look at, but if so, she has been trading on this advantage for too long. Earlier, in the same occasional series, the BBC did a similar drama documentary on George Orwell, "in his own words". That film was extremely good. This effort is not remotely in the same league.
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